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The thrill of victory and ...

Published: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 12:00 p.m. CDT

I chant his name over and over in my head as if to send him luck. The serve goes over the net; then the return comes right back. A brief moment of joy hits me when the ball nearly looks as if it was “out.” My reaction mirrors that of the audience members, who shriek and then quickly shush each other. Nobody wants to ruin Andy Murray’s focus.

The commentators remain silent knowing the last few minutes of the game may very well be happening in front of them. I cringe every time a monotone announcer calls out the score, letting his voice echo within the Wimbledon stage. Hearing that Novak Djokovic has the advantage yet again on this recent deuce makes my heart beat faster. I chant Murray’s name again and again. I try to fill the silence with anything but doubt.

Murray twists his racket back and forth with a flick of his wrist. He throws the tennis ball adamantly at the ground and lets it bounce back to him with each throw. Just as the rhythm becomes steady, he launches the ball into the air. Before anyone has a chance to hold their breath, Murray’s back arches; his arms go up; his racket makes contact; and the game is back underway.

With each forehand quickly hitting the ball back and forth, I can’t tell what will happen until the ball stops moving. Time doesn’t stand still. It just happens. In one swift move Djokovic isn’t able to get the ball over the net. Only after I hear the crowd cheer do I know for sure that Murray has won the game. Andy Murray has won Wimbledon!

My voice does something that only excitement can really explain. I know he could have lost. He had a chance to lose just as much as Djokovic did when this day began. I just couldn’t let myself believe it unless it actually happened. Until the final call was made, I didn’t have any reason to stop believing that winning could be possible.

Kathy Tun of Spring Valley is a sophomore at Illinois Wesleyan in Bloomington. She can be reached in care of this newspaper at P.O. Box 340, Princeton, IL 61356.

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