Moment of victory: to slump or not to slump

US Open

Forget everything else, what a tennis player does at the moment of victory is often how they’ll be remembered

Amid the gusts and the grunts, our man Andy has come through brilliantly, reaching his fifth slam final, his second this year.

Now all he needs to do is win it.

Photo of Andy Murray pointing

Andy Murray won gold at the Olympics

I say fifth final. That’s not including the Olympics of course, but I wanted to mention his gold medal again, and just have.  Once more, yesterday, the strength, the belief, was evident. Tomorrow, rather than today as originally scheduled – because the women’s final has now slipped over a day due to the weather – we will, of course, see him point his index fingers skywards once more, this time in victory;  whereafter he will perhaps bite the trophy like Nadal. Or do a funny knee-bend-cum-slump-with-geekish-grimace,  Federer-style. However great Roger is, he never mastered the point of victory, celebratory movement. He seems to lose all idea of exactly where his limbs are pointing, or precisely where they are, or even if he has any: a considerable disappointment for such a sublime athlete.  I hope Andy doesn’t beat his chest and rip off his shirt. Only Djokovic can get away with that. And only just.

I have often wondered if players think up such celebratory behaviour before the final, in case they win. In their position I would give it at least a little thought in the locker room. On the most important day of your life you wouldn’t want the back pages of the newspapers graced with anything less than photographic glory. Looking vacant, tripping over, or walking to the net confused, just wouldn’t be cricket. Or tennis. Not really. Nadal also went for the flat on his back. Good. Ivanisevic, like Agassi at Wimbledon, went for flat on his front. Less good, I always thought. And when Bjorn Borg threw his racket in the air (that was way back in the seventies, just when I was getting into watching tennis) I was always worried where it would land. I had a very sheltered childhood…

If anyone knows what Andy is up to with his pointing at the sky, let me know. Has he suddenly become a believer? Or is it something else? I like the pointing, although he only started doing it this year. He must have thought that up in advance. No doubt at all. But it is a great trade mark and he does it well.

My prediction in an earlier post that David Ferrer will make the final, has still to be proven of course, after his semi-final against the Djoker was postponed due to bad weather. I live in hope. Because, after all my premature ravings of a victory for Murray, if Djokovic is his opponent and on form, then, realistically, whether to lie on your front or your back will be a pointless question.


Copyright © 2012 David Hansard /
All articles on are written by David Hansard unless otherwise stated.



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