It read like a paparazzo's dream come true: the Prime Minister of Britain, the Duchess of Cambridge and ten other royalties, and the mayor of London all in one small and crowded open-air venue for a sporting event; joining them too was the pre-eminent soccer coach in the world for the past 15 years, Sir Alex Ferguson, and one of his former charges, the world-famous David Beckham and his equally glamorous wife, Victoria.
Then 17 million misty-eyed, flag-waving Britons rooting for Andy Murray against Roger Federer, hoping that this time, for the first time since 1936, a British man would win in the Wimbledon tennis final. But in the end, Federer, arguably the greatest to have ever played the game, prevailed against the wave of overwhelming home support for Murray.
The match, coming in the same week as the epoch-making [discovery of the Higgs Boson](http://www.economist.com/node/21558254?scode=3d26b0b17065c2cf29c06c010184c684) by physicists at CERN, packed some really good lessons beneath the gasp-inducing tennis.
**Lesson One**: *You can be both powerful and stylish at once*. Federer, when everything has been summed up, destroys his opponents – but never sacrifices his elegance while being forceful. The biggest reason for watching Federer, after all, is that seeing him play is like reading a great poem. Just ask [David Foster Wallace](http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/20/sports/playmagazine/20federer.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print).
**Lesson Two:** *Patience pays*. He’s not quite there yet, but Murray, even in defeat, made history; he was the first British man to reach man to reach the final in 76 years. He also won, at fourth attempt, his first set in a grand slam final. One small step at a time for Mr. Murray.
**Lesson Three:** *Lose with grace*. Loser’s speeches don’t get any classier and more graceful than Murray’s on Sunday – even when they come soaked with a few tears. He lauded his opponent, and rightfully described him as the stuff of legend. Great lesson for politicians who lose elections, or business leaders who make wrong decisions to accept that sometimes competitors, markets, or circumstances simply get the better of them.
**Lesson Four:** *History matters*. History gave to this match weight that no advertising or media hype could manufacture. History of British performance in the tournament, of Murray’s recent career, of his coach Ivan Lendl [who eerily shared Murray’s tough luck](http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/tennis/now-take-a-leaf-from-ivan-lendls-book-andy-murray-and-try-try-try-again-7923507.html) in his career before making it. And it is by looking at such history that Murray can remain both stoic in defeat and hopeful for the future. In business, politics, school, or work, endeavoring without a sense of history is as good as treading through a pristine Amazon rainforest: no tracks, no footsteps from earlier wanderers, no warnings on what dangers to look out for