Rarely has the fashionable concept of a "Wimbledon effect" – the way a country can excel in providing conditions for something it is not particularly good at itself – had a more estimable model than this year's tournament.
The two singles finals may have disappointed in not providing more equal or agonising contests along the epic lines of Federer-Nadal 2008, but the victors displayed other qualities: the ruthlessness and confidence of new champions. From the early expulsion of China's Li Na, fresh from her triumph in the French Open, and the departures in quick succession of the Williams sisters, this was a championship that defied enough of the rankings to be exciting to the last.
It offered hints, too, of the passing of a generation: is Roger Federer past his peak, we might have asked at the start. By the final, there was also the faintest question over Rafael Nadal, smashed from his pedestal by Novak Djokovic. And as Maria Sharapova ceded to the unruffled ambition of Petra Kvitova, there was a different reminder of the passage of time: Martina Navratilova cheered her on.
Nor should we be too downcast about Andy Murray. Indeed, a British champion might destroy the Wimbledon effect, which is all about attracting the world's elite and giving them the wherewithal to play their game.Reuse content