The men's final of Wimbledon 2009 was played last Sunday. Andy Roddick was the clear underdog. Roddick has won one career grand slam final and was playing for a second. He played the king of tennis, Roger Federer, who was playing for a record 15th grand slam title. Roddick had lost in the final of Wimbledon to, who else, Roger Federer, in 2004 and 2005, and also lost to Federer in the 2006 U.S. Open final.
Sunday Roddick played the match of matches. He won the first set and had 4 set point opportunities in the second set tie breaker. Federer survived the four set points and took the second set, then took the third set. Roddick hung tough and took the fourth set. The fifth set was played even to 6 games all, then 7 all, 8 all, 9 all, 10 all, 11 all, 12 all, 13 all and 14 all. In the entire match to that point, already a record 75 games, Roddick did not lose a single service game.
Federer held serve in his 15th service game, and finally, in the 30th game of the fifth set, Federer broke Roddick's serve for the first time in the whole match to take the set 16 games to 14, and the match three sets to two. After more than four and a quarter hours of true championship tennis Roddick had a huge, disappointing loss.
Sue has spent the past two months progressively experiencing the disappointing loss of her health. This past week Sue has also finally grasped that, with this chronic illness of multiple myeloma comes a second and possibly more profound loss, that of a significant part of her future (at the very least she faces a starkly different future than the one(s) she has imagined heretofore). This week she's been sore and tired and unable to sleep. She's worried about her appointment next week with the specialist in San Francisco. She's sick and tired of being sick. So she grieved today.
Really, though, disappointments and losses are part of life. Who hasn't experienced losses and disappointments of some kind, and grieving? Federer, who also experienced two disappointing losses to Rafael Nadal last year, one at Wimbledon and the other at the Australian Open finals, says this loss will make Roddick stronger. Referring to his 2008 loss to Nadal at the Wimbledon finals Federer said "I came out being horribly sad and it was a tough loss. ... And then I look back, and it's going to be similar this time for Roddick, he's going to look back and think what an amazing match we played. It was so nice to be part of it."
Right now we can only hope Sue's losses make her stronger, and that she will look back on this time and think that it was an amazing time and that it was nice to be a part of it.