Taki Taki

High Life | 11 July 2009

Final gallantry

So farewell, then, to probably the best Wimbledon fortnight ever, certainly the sunniest that I can remember. Andy Roddick now joins Gottfried von Cramm and Ken Rosewall as a three-times-losing finalist, coming within a whisker of winning the greatest trophy in tennis, but turning into a tragic hero instead. Still, unlike the elegant German baron and the great Aussie, Andy might still do it, although I wouldn’t bet on it. But not to worry, Andy old chap, you’ve got by far the prettiest wife of all the players, and you exhibited more fight and good sportsmanship than the rest of the field combined. Roddick should be made an honorary member of the All England Club for bringing some decency to the game. Not once did he or Federer sully the great final with Murray-like boorish histrionics and screams for support, nor did their wives emulate that ghastly Murray woman, who spends her time fist-pumping and shouting, her square mouth wide open as if in a dentist’s chair.

Yes, I might be bitchin’ but it’s summertime and the livin’ is easy. Sir Tom Stoppard turned 72 last week and I ran into him in front of the John Sandoe bookshop. He was about to tell me an interesting story about writers when we were interrupted by fans of his. Never mind. I wanted to talk about Arcadia (which is having a revival at the Duke of York’s) and the references to summer heat in the play, as I had written something about what heat does to young people in this space a month or so before. The reason I bring this up is that I once walked down Broadway with Alan Lerner, the lyricist, and not a single person exiting from the Great White Way’s theatres noticed him.

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