Roger Federer was frequently very emotional after big defeats in the past, but he has spoken recently of new maturity in that regard.
Sunday's Wimbledon final defeat to Novak Djokovic, however, brought back the same raw emotion in the Swiss after be battled to a fifth-set defeat.
Djokovic eventually wrapped up the contest that will go down as one of the greatest Wimbledon finals in three hours and 56 minutes, falling to the ground in celebration before climbing to the players' box to greet his camp with an emotional embrace.
"I don't know how I managed to do it," said a teary Djokovic, who had lost his last three grand slam finals.
"I want to dedicate this win to a few people, first of all to my future wife and our future baby. I am going to become a father soon and I am still preparing for that.
"To my family and my team for sacrifice a lot of their lives to allow me to live the dream and to my first coach Jelena Gencic, who taught me everything about playing tennis and how to behave. Unfortunately she passed away last year but this is for her."
"#Djokovic "I would like to dedicate this title to my first coach Jelena Gencic.. she passed away last year +this is for her." Love this xx
— judy murray (@judmoo) July 6, 2014
It was a hugely emotional moment for Djokovic following the passing of his first coach, but few noticed the single tear running down Federer's face nearby.
The image was extremely poignant given that many continue to speculate that it could have been Federer's final tilt at an eighth title at the All England Club.
That may be premature with Federer having been written off many times before, and he continues to be very competitive at the business end of Grand Slams. As our blogger put it, he remains a picture of 'grace, beauty, bewitching athleticism'.
Again emotion was a big feature of a men's Wimbledon final, but in many ways it just goes to show what passionate and driven individuals we have the privilege of enjoying in this wonderfully fruitful era in the sport.
Federer and Djokovic were crying for very different reasons on Centre Court on Sunday, but both remain true greats of the game with much more still to say about how history remembers this period of time in tennis.
- Sports & Recreation
- Roger Federer
- Novak Djokovic
- Andy Murray