Saturday, 6 July 2013
I can't tell you how thrilling it was to be on Centre Court yesterday. The papers won't tell you this, for Andy Murray won a match at 9.30pm last night to reach the final, but before that, best player in the world narrowly defeated a huge, languid, talented, gutsy Argie called Del Potro, who charmed the crowd not just as underdog but as a great character with an ironic sense of humour. Idle has been lucky enough to get to Wimbledon most of the past twenty five years, and this was comfortably the highest-quality match he has seen. The sportsmanship was wonderful as well.
The serving was brutal and consistent - just seven double faults in 57 games, the return of serve astonishing, and the groundstrokes - well, I've never seen the ball hit so hard, so consistently, long rallies so breathtaking. Every now and again Del Boy, as some of the crowd insisted on calling him, unleashed what my host and I started calling his 'bazooka' - a forehand of extraordinary power, always crosscourt, barely clearing the net. Djokovic only once got his racket to it, which was an edge, taken at deep third man by a spectator in Row Z. The synchronised gasp and applause of 15,000 people when he did this, three or four times a set, was memorable.
This was TOP sport. Djokovic deserved his narrow victory. Del Potro deserved his own standing ovation. He will be a very popular man at Wimbledon for as long as he keeps coming here.
création d' idle at 2:19 pm