Guest Blog: Farewell from Wimbledon
The "Fortnight" ended with high drama on Sunday, as Roger Federer won his record-tying seventh Wimbledon championship in a thrilling four-set match over Scotsman Andy Murray, who was trying to become the first British male to win Wimbledon since 1936. Clay Sniteman, MSPT, ATC, owner of Sundance Physical Therapy in Ogden, UT, was there -- working as a physical therapist and athletic trainer for the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). He penned this dispatch for ADVANCE from the All-England Club shortly before the final:
"It's just about a wrap. Another Wimbledon. Another year. Another name just about to go down in the history books.
The grass has seen it all. Heartache from double faults, jubilation from passing shots and enough emotion to buy the Queen's jewels. Prince William and Kate were courtside along with enough celebrities to satisfy even the most jaded paparazzi. Canons and Nikons were even competing.
But, it's just about a wrap now.
As I go out to see the once pristine courts, brown spots have now appeared -- a tribute to those that laid it all out. But as bruised as the grass seems now, right after the final celebration, a master will go out and massage the places that have been rubbed raw. They know just what to do. They will give the grass time to heal, supply the right amount of TLC, and in a few weeks, the courts will be ready to embrace the competition all over again...
I can't help but think that the players will have gone through somewhat the same process.
Two weeks ago, dreams showed up pristine. No longer. Most have gone to the airport and are now winging their way en route to the next tournament in hope that the next court will be more kind.
How tough has it been?
The phone calls and texts tell the story.
'I know it hurts, but at least you played in the granddaddy of them all.'
'Maybe next year.'
'That was a rotten call. If only...'
'Just know that one of these days, you will be able to tell your kids and grandkids that you played in Wimbledon.'
'Did you get to see Kate Middleton? I can't believe that you were there.'
It's like there is a team of wordsmiths waiting to repair the damage of an early exit.
To be sure, the kind words help. But the real therapy will take time. Maybe it will come with a future win or another dream brought on by years of optimism drummed into the players, family and coaches. But just maybe, age will do the trick, not by winning in another year but just knowing that even in losing, they won as they played on the grass courts of history.
It is simply an amazing experience to watch the drama unfold. From courtside to the training table, seemingly every emotion has been on display. There just is not anything like it. Wimbledon. On grass. It's just about a wrap."
Live from Wimbledon -- Clay Sniteman, PT/ATC for the Tennis Professional Circuit.