Hyder Jawad witnesses a final highlighting perfection but lacking true drama...
Roger Federer has become everybody's ready symbol of a player crafted in heaven and sent to earth to do what nobody else can.
Not even Andy Roddick, the second-best grass-court player in the world, looks as if he belongs on the same court as Federer.
In winning his third successive Wimbledon men's singles title, Federer took tennis farther into the future but inadvertently compromised on entertainment. The problem with perfection is that it is not always good to watch.
His routine 6-2, 7-6, 6-4 victory against Roddick here on Centre Court was impressive enough but lacked the contrasts or drama required for such a contest to be ranked alongside those between Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe in the early 80s. We are nowhere near there.
But we are nearer to the day when Federer, from Switzerland, will equal Borg's record of five successive Wimbledon titles and Pete Sampras's modern-day record of seven titles. Of the three, Federer is far and away the best player, and certainly the most complete in the history of the game.
So why did the majority of the people here, or certainly those who were most vocal, want Roddick to win? It is because the domination of one man is, well, boring. We can praise the world No 1 until the cows come home (and he will no doubt be presented with another cow for this title) but cannot appreciate sport unless there are flaws.
Like Sampras before him, Federer is essentially the embodiment of a machine, which rather diminishes the fun. A Roddick- Lleyton Hewitt final might have been more exciting but, without the best player, it would not have been a true reflection of this Wimbledon.
A year ago, Roddick came out like a man injected with rocket fuel and controlled the final for the first set and a half until the rain came down. This time, it was Federer who started the brighter, winning the first set with such arrogant ease that he threatened a mismatch to rank with that of McEnroe's victory in the final against Jimmy Connors in 1984.
Would Roddick crumble and die like he did a year ago? Not quite. The American took the second set to a tie-break but still never gave the impression that he was going to take this to four or even five sets. The victory was only delayed because of rain at the end of the second set.
Federer has mastered the art of concealing the effort. While Roddick was visibly shaking with passion and enthusiasm, Federer was biding his time with the patience of a chess master. Federer is subtle; Roddick is not. Both are cool, but for different reasons.
Federer even seems to be able to decide when the time is right to break serve. When he did so in the seventh game of the third set, Roddick had the demeanour of a defeated man, even if it was difficult to spot the disillusionment beneath his baseball cap.
As a rivalry, Federer-Roddick is turning into anticlimax. They met in the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2003, the final in 2004 and now in 2005, with Federer winning convincingly on each occasion. We build such battles up because we need them but we find that, too often, they leave us empty.
Sampras's victory in straight sets over Andre Agassi in 1999 was seen as the perfect Wimbledon final performance, except that few people remember it because it was beautiful rather than dramatic. Their rivalry was better suited to the US Open.
You cannot contrive these things, especially at Wimbledon. McEnroe-Borg just happened. It was a freak of timing. They were the best two players in the world but they were also the most contrasting. Federer and Roddick are different from each other but not different enough. And they like each other, which is not ideal for those in search of drama. Where there is no conflict, there is no story.
At the end, after Federer served his way to the title, he fell on to the floor in mock disbelief. Only he seemed surprised. Roddick went to the other side of the court and embraced the Wimbledon champion. The mutual respect and affection was obvious.
And then, for those who like their interviews to reveal absolutely nothing, BBC presenter Sue Barker asked Federer and Roddick how they felt about life.
There are few things more artificial than a post-Wimbledon final Sue Barker interview but it is as much a part of the tournament as rain, queues, expensive food, and Federer victories.
Roddick will leave us with that unique service action and his record of only two double faults in his final three matches. Without that serve, it is debatable whether he would be anywhere near the top two in the world, but he uses it to great effect, even against a player of Federer's stature.
It's hard to see why they cannot return next year to play yet another final but, as was the case this year, the result will be inevitable. The gap between first and second is becoming wider.
Only when it begins to close will Wimbledon enjoy the rivalries of past generations.