Andy Murray admits that a single day will not be enough to ease the pain of losing on home soil for the sixth time to Roger Federer, this time within reach of appearing in a third Wimbledon final.
Rule one of Wimbledon show court etiquette: back Andy Murray (usually politely, more occasionally volubly). Rule two: ignore rule one when he is playing Roger Federer.
The Arsenal and Manchester United greats sat near each other at SW19.
For a public high on the exploits of Heather Watson, James Ward and the hope that British tennis is inching its way to respectability, the prospect of both Murray brothers in Wimbledon finals seems tantalising.
It took less than five minutes for the sense of ceremony that preceded the semi-final between Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova to be supplanted by an inevitability that has become numbingly familiar.
Alongside the joys of being touted as the next big thing in British women’s tennis, there are pressures.
After the storm the calm.
Roger Federer is through to the semi-finals of Wimbledon after a simple, straight-sets victory over Gilles Simon, 6-3, 7-5, 6-2. He now plays Andy Murray on Friday.
It is more than three decades since an incredulous John McEnroe uttered his most famous line: “You cannot be serious”.
If Serena Williams can bagel a fitter, younger opponent in the third set of a semi-final at a slam while appearing to be operating on half a lung and anaesthetised legs – as she did to beat the bewildered Timea Bacsinszky on Thursday – her opponent in Saturday’s final, Lucie Safarova, has no chance.
When Novak Djokovic plays Roger Federer on the southern reaches of the Thames on Sunday night for the 44th time in one of sport’s great rivalries, he will be driven by an urge to prove he is not only the best player in the world this week but the best of his era.
Rarely more than the length of a phsyio’s table from angst, Andy Murray has put his fate over the concluding weeks of the season in the intuitive hands of a former ballet dancer who once shared a stage with Michael Crawford. As Judy Murray might say, some mothers do, indeed, have ’em.
If this were a fight, it might have been called off before a blow had been landed. But Kiki Bertens, a smiling, 23-year-old Dutch qualifier who looked pleased just to be here, made a decent fist of her impossible assignment in dappled light on Arthur Ashe and pushed Serena Williams at least to the lower slopes of anxiety on day three of the 2015 US Open.
Novak Djokovic burnished his shield of invincibility as the season he regards as his “best ever” rolled on with the momentum of a runaway horse towards its conclusion in London this week.
Maria Sharapova, struggling with a right leg strain less than a fortnight before the start of the US Open, withdrew from the Cincinnati Masters on Tuesday night. She was joined on the sick list by Venus Williams, who has a virus.
Serena Williams’ coach says her recent break from the game was down to the fact she was suffering from depression and she also needed to allow her knees to recover after missing out on the calendar grand slam in September.
There is a moment in the documentary, “Serena”, which was shown on the BBC on Sunday, that gave an interesting insight into the mentality of the world No1, who on Saturday will be aiming to win her 22nd grand slam title, something that would equal the open-era record held by Steffi Graf.
It has been a strange fortnight for Heather Watson. Having begun with a whimper, it could end up with a first Wimbledon title.
Tennis fans have questioned the BBC for allowing John McEnroe to commentate on the Wimbledon semi-final between Roger Federer and Milos Raonic while working as Raonic’s coach.