Jul 7, 2008

McEnroe in Wimbledon hug drama

McEnroe has caught flack for his show of emotion after the Nadal-Federer match. Calling it "the greatest match I've ever seen" he accosted Federer in the corridor directly afterwards. "Could I just say thank you as a tennis player that you allowed us to be part of this amazing spectacle?.... I know you're feeling so much emotion right now ... give me a hug ... thank you, man ... thank you ... thank you so much, OK?" Federer, looking close to tears, accepted the hug then removed himself.

The criticism was immediate: "It was McEnroe who was about to bawl..... McEnroe needed the hug more than Federer.... the whole display was totally unprofessional....."

McEnroe's hyperbole was unusual for him, but looked at one way, justified. It was the greatest tennis match he had ever seen. He is, after all, one of only two men in the world who does not know what it was like to watch the Borg-McEnroe final of 1981, when McEnroe finally beat Borg after 8 match points, bringing his reign as Wimbledown champ to an end. A little bit of reverse transferance? A chance to comfort Borg, after all these years? I liked the hug but then I like it when people on TV forget they're on TV and something awkward and private and interesting pokes through. It may even be one our most solemn duties: to embarrass ourselves in the wings of history.

No comments:

Post a Comment