So Tsonga attempts a fairly unconvincing drop-shot carrying all the threat of a handbag assault by Michael Gove. Meaning it was lame and self-defeatingly unfocussed. Murray responds in a kindof Baconesque blur somewhere between Screaming Pope and Vengeful Jock Upstart – he did paint that, didn’t he? – featuring discernible, co-ordinated, near sadistically-expressed brilliance. Meaning a gathering of the apologetic ball into some Caledonian vortex before the suspiciously automatic catapulting of said furry sphere back at the central body mass of the now fearfully star-jumping French hulk. It hits him, venomously, deep into his bollocks. Cue Blues squirming, Pinks giggling.
That sickeningly sinking feeling. That Oh My God I Really Might Puke and Parp 3 lbs of Angel Delight-consistency Shite Out At The Same Time feeling. Cruelly familiar to every male member(?) of the population over the age of about two days but mysteriously absent from female experience. Weirdly funny right then to all but he, the recipient of that extravagantly piquant instant.
Tsonga really copped one hardcore style and he may even as I write be using that as part of his response to the queue of journalists wanting to ask that second question (about how his Todger feels) an acceptable period after Q 1 – the one, obviously, about how HE feels. (Because they’re separate, presumably?)
But I may be being flippant in a moment of alleged National Triumph. This being after all the first time since that prehistoric American (Fred Perry) in his Mod T-shirts dun so-o gud that a Brit… dun so gud. If I may though, I would like to proffer in a sense of keen – remarkably, vividly, ashen-faced-with-(k)nobs-on keen – brotherhood, two remembrances which er… resonate clangiferously in this seminal moment.
Was leaning over a rail fence aged about four when a deceptively doe-eyed but actually savage steed casually leant through and bit/plucked inquisitively at my nether regions. Think only the magnificent heaviness of my sixties-era cotton footie shorts prevented Emlyn Hughes-like vocal rearrangement. Blessedly, there are no scars RT-able and Oh Yeh Baybee the wedding tackle remains verifiably intact. Had more than one other goolaciously ghoulish event – including the obligatory winkie-in-zip rite of passage – but only one rivals the Tsonga Oof.
Football. Caught one right in the knackers having spun round to counter an incoming challenge from some early-shaving donkey from Chesterfield. He hoofed it in the manner characteristic of a cerebrally-challenged No 5 – soundly at Row Z –despite the fact we were unthreateningly mid-pitch. Meaning he really did hoof it. I lay there pretending to be unconscious for about ten minutes whilst the tears coiled behind flickering lids and the ache in my testicles persists 40 plus years after the event. So, Monsieur Tsonga I/we do understand. It happens to us blokes.
Whether this ball-on-ball incident conspired against the (surprisingly?) popular Frenchman today, who knows? Murray for me was tougher, more durable, closer to absolutely elite level tennis more often – though often the standard was good. Expect many though, to settle for praising the Scot’s cahunas.