Our Mark Staniforth looks at the five things he learned at the conclusion of the Wimbledon Championships this year.
MURRAY'S TIME WILL COME
Ignore the critics queuing up with their predictable claims that Andy Murray's best chance has gone. Okay, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic had departed prematurely, but this is not 2002, when Tim Henman's attempt to break his duck was ended by Goran Ivanisevic, in the sure knowledge that the following year the likes of Lleyton Hewitt and Roger Federer would emerge at the head of a new generation. Murray can count himself very much still a rising star, and rather than the Scot feeling threatened, it should be the likes of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic who are looking over their shoulders. Murray has proved he belongs in the final arena, he will have banked an awful lot from the experience, and given another year, he will be in the best possible position to finally end decades of British hurt.
THE BRITS ARE BACK
The way things are going, Murray may not be the lone standard-bearer for British tennis much longer. Aside from Jonny Marray's quite preposterous men's doubles win, which augurs well for the Davis Cup, there were two gutsy performances from James Ward, but the real plus came on the women's side, where Heather Watson became the first British woman to reach the third round in 10 years - before falling to eventual finalist Agnieszka Radwanska - while Laura Robson put up a superb challenge to former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone. There is plenty of work to do, but British tennis is finally beginning to make tentative steps in the right direction.
AGE ISN'T EVERYTHING
Many of those same people who insist Murray has missed his chance were also hailing the glorious achievements of a pair of 30-year-old champions in Roger Federer and Serena Williams. Admittedly all-time greats like Federer and Williams don't come along too often, but they serve as stellar examples to all athletes who fear the onset of their thirties. Federer may not be as dominant as he once was, but he looked as imperious as ever in putting the feisty Djokovic to the sword before shrugging off a slow first set to overwhelm Murray. Williams, too, swatted away a succession of contenders despite failing to find her best form. Her comeback from injury and illness makes Williams' performance all the more remarkable. Who would dare suggest that there will not be more to come?
THE WOMEN'S GAME IS WIDE OPEN
Accused for years of being too shallow, headed by number ones with no grand slam titles to their names, the women's game now looks healthier than it has for a long time. Williams and a rejuvenated Maria Sharapova remain its figureheads, but behind them are a slew of players with genuine grand slam ambitions. Victoria Azarenka and Petra Kvitova surely have more major titles in them, while the belated emergence of Radwanska provides a striking and welcome variety to the muscle merchants who have dominated for a long time. Plenty of others, notably the likes of Sabine Lisicki and Marion Bartoli, have proved themselves capable on their day. These are good times for women's tennis.
WIMBLEDON IS STILL THE BIG ONE
The strawberries still cost too much, the weather frequently sends everyone scurrying for cover, the queues snake halfway to Chelsea and the chances of claiming a Centre Court ticket are practically nil, yet Wimbledon remains as unique and extraordinary as ever, capable of throwing up both brilliant champions and sensational upsets; where one accurate passing shot or second-serve ace can turn an also-run into a household name - just ask Lukas Rosol. The stars will return in two weeks' time to fight it out for Olympic gold, when the All England Club's lavish environs will help turn something of an oddity into a big occasion. But grand slam tennis at SW19 will forever remain the occasion when the sport really finds it magic.