Roger Federer (30) was victorious in the final of the men’s singles at Wimbledon this Sunday. However, whilst the Swiss tennis star took home his fifth title and over $23 million in prize money, his opponent was also rewarded by a shift in public opinion.
Playing as the first Wookiee to ever reach the Men’s final, Chewbacca (224) lost three out of four sets to Federer.
A veteran on the tennis circuit, Chewbacca has failed to win over the public during his career, despite formidable tennis skills (his immensely powerful reverse shot, dubbed the ‘Chewbac-hand’, is particularly notorious).
The media has often commented on the distance between his sporting and social gifts. He is well known for his lack of eye contact and habit of ‘grunting’ during interviews. This, combined with his morose expression during matches, has led to his nickname of ‘The Wretched Wookiee’.
This all changed after Chewbacca’s very public disappointment at losing this year’s final. Dropping his racket, he cried “BLEUGHHHHHARMEMMMEEHHUUIIIKKKJOOOJOJHHEEEEESSSSFDDDEEE”, his anguish broadcast worldwide as tears matted the fur below his eyes.
“DRUUUDDDDDDDD, RAWWWWGUMHHHEEEEWWW, BLUEGGGHHHUUUGGAAAAAAKKKKNNNKKNKNKKNKNK, BUUU BURRR BURRLEED DDDEE” he continued “GUUUUUUUTTTTTAAAMMMAAANNGGGGG FFAAALLLALANDN!”
Such an affecting display had never been seen before from the player, who nevertheless restrained himself to shake his opponent’s hand and congratulate him before the cameras.
His emotional yet graceful reaction in the face of defeat struck a cord with the British public, who hastened to praise the player on Twitter, including remarks from several famous figures.
“He may have lost the match, but Chewbacca has shown impeccable sportsmanship” tweeted golfer Lee Westwood.
Ed Miliband, leader of the Labour Party, posted that “He has forever won a place in British hearts. The nation is proud”.
During an interview with The Guardian this morning, the player was asked if his newfound popularity had alleviated his disappointment. In an uncharacteristically loquacious reply, Chewbacca stated “DDRRIIIINNNTTTEEEEEGGGUUUNNN…RAWWWWRRRRRRRRRRRRRWRWRRRRWRRRRRRWRWRRRRRRRRR”.