In today’s(9th June, 2009)TIMES OF INDIA, Bangalore edition, there was a statement ascribed to Roger Federer, which runs as follows: ” Even if one has luck, it has to be pursued and encashed when one is still lucky.”
Roger Federer had tasted defeat at the hands of Rafael Nadal in the finals of two different Grand Slam events. Pete Sampras had lost to Martin Safin, Hewitt and Agassi in Grand Slam finals, but Federer had lost only to Nadal. This year’s finals at the French Open was the only opportunity that Federer got in the recent past to play the French finals without Nadal. The eventual finalist Soderling was responsible for the loss of Nadal in the earlier round.
The way Soderling played against Nadal, i was sure that Soderling would take the French Title. By hindsight, that was not to be. Federer demolished Soderling in the finals, that too in straight sets. Soderling simply did not have the grit nor the mental resistance to forget that he was playing a 13 time grand slam champion! In fact in the post match interview Soderling was thankful that, “Roger gave me a lesson in tennis!” It reflected the mental subservience that Soderling had submitted himself to sub-consciously even before the match and so shamelessly expressed after the match. Well one cannot expect much from the 23rd seeded player.
Despite all the above facts, which so egregiously conspired to favour Roger, it was for Roger to encash the LUCK that was so benignly smiling at him. Roger rose to the occasion. No Nadal and he sniffed the French trophy at grasping distance. He redoubled his effort and ensured that the match did not go beyond the 3rd set. Who knows as to whether after the third set the Dame Luck would still have smiled or spurned? Federer took no chances, he executed and there he stood as the champion.
I for one am happy for Federer, even though i terribly dislike his tearful expressions of joys and sorrows on court. Tennis may not be the manliest of games, but it sure is one of the gentlemanliest of games and crying on court without the ability to hold back one’s tears despite one’s victory or loss is reflective of the lack of gamesmanship.
Methinks his wife is more poised and evens out these outbursts.