There was a tear in my eye on Sunday as I watched my countryman Andy Murray lift that elusive golden trophy as the King of the Wimbledon center court with my equally-excited Vietnamese wife, praying my screams of joy didn’t wake up the neighbors during the most agonizing of all final games. Scripted to make us suffer.
40-0 up serving for the match, all he had to do was win one of the next three points and he would be the first British male winner for 77 years.
Three points gone and then another.
Three break points held through sheer guts and stubbornness.
One more match point and it was over.
I could barely look but when it all sank in, it really was a miracle that a Scottish man won the Wimbledon title.
Not a normal day in the crazy world of sport that’s for sure.
A moment no one born in northern Britain will ever forget.
Scotland’s greatest sporting moment since Sandy Lyle won the US Masters golf title 25 years ago with that one in a billion bunker shot on 18 to within 12 feet of the hole as he rolled in a birdie to take the green jacket.
Tennis is becoming a popular sport, besides football (soccer), in Việt Nam
Now, despite being a huge tennis fan I rarely played it back in my home country due to poor facilities and poor weather.
I don’t think there were more than a handful of indoor areas – yes the weather is so bad we can’t play tennis outside for about eleven and a half months – in my home country when I left six years ago.
Since I arrived in Asia with the improved weather conditions I found I could play at any time of the day and do try to get on the court and pretend I am Mr Murray for an hour or two as much as possible – even during the lunchtime heat or rain.
We all can dream but do you know in Vietnam I do genuinely pray that there is a young guy or girl at the right age to not only have that dream but be in a position to make good on it?
Maybe with a bit of parental guidance and proper coaching it is possible for Việt Nam to have a Wimbledon winner.
Before you laugh, let’s go back to 1993 when Murray was six years old and imagine that someone publicly stated:
“Scotland is going to have a Wimbledon champion in 20 years’ time.”
To explain, tennis is not what you would call a Scottish sport as 90 per cent of males’ top three sports are football, football and football.
Take your pick.
Now if Scotland, a country of five million people with woeful tennis facilities can produce a miracle, albeit he did most of his later coaching in Spain, why not Việt Nam?
Remember the man who was standing in the way of the promised land on Sunday night was Novak Djokovic, still arguably the number one player in the world, although Murray is within touching distance, is from Serbia, population roughly seven-and-a-half million.
Two small countries going head to head on the big stage as the world looked on.
Before Murray came along our nation’s only tennis claim to fame was that The Falkland Palace Royal Tennis Club in Fife, which was constructed for King James V of Scotland in 1541, is the oldest tennis court in use today around the world.
Watching the excellent coverage on Star Sports I overheard the charismatic Vijay Amritraj tell Alan Wilkins that he was in Sài Gòn for the tennis championships recently after someone from the city made a comment during the most dramatic tennis fortnight in London that I can remember.
He explained that he was struck by how passionate the Vietnamese were about tennis and how he hoped that tennis would become a more mainstream participation sport in Việt Nam.
He was also impressed with the number of courts nationwide.
Any tennis court I visit or ride past is always packed with enthusiasts which is great for people in their 20s, 30s, 40s or whatever to keep fit but it is at grassroots level that can make a difference and produce someone special.
All it takes is one.
There is only one Andy Murray and there is no reason to believe there can’t be one Vietnamese boy or girl who can follow their dream and achieve the improbable.
A boy from a small Perthshire town called Dunblane proved on Sunday night (Sài Gòn time) that the impossible is possible.
Hard work, determination, talent and a will to win that is bordering on obsession and of course a great coaching team and most importantly a proud and supportive mum behind him or her can take that special one to greatness.