And to think that millions of us regarded the prospect of a Wimbledon men's singles final without Andy Murray in it as an anti-climax. By half-past six yesterday evening, a new chapter had been written in the annals of sporting epics, and there was only one Andy in anyone's thoughts – Andy Roddick, the big-serving American who in eventually yielding to Roger Federer in a fifth set of unprecedented drama redefined the concept of the gallant loser.
As much as the climax of this year's Wimbledon will be remembered for the history Federer made in taking his tally of Grand Slam tournament titles to a record-breaking 15, so it deserves to be recalled for the way the unfancied Roddick pushed to the brink the greatest player the game has seen. That Federer merits that accolade can no longer be the subject of debate – not after yesterday, when his mettle was tested as never before, and he still emerged supreme. Federer – and Roddick – we salute you.