When you speak of Roger Federer, we all know and admire him to be one of the greatest players that have graced the world of tennis, right? Well, he might be a wonderful player of tennis and all, but the fact remains that he is not a good role-model for younger sportsmen to follow. Don’t get me wrong; every sportsman would love to achieve all of the honors and accolades that Federer has got; but the fact remains that Federer lacks spirit and the heart required to make a sportsman, truly, immortal.
How else would you explain Roger Federer’s decision to sit on the sidelines during the clay court season and to miss one of the most important competitions of the year; the French Open! After his loss to an unknown Australian commodity, who is ranked 175th in the world, Federer will not be the world number one, once the clay court is done and over with. However, this act of cowardice should not come off as a surprise to the fans of the Swiss superstar, owing to how Federer pulled off the same shenanigans last year. Federer hopes to make a return at Wimbledon next, but going by his recent defeat, his chances certainly don’t appear too bright.
What Federer needs to realize is that he is at the twilight of his career. This means that not only does he need to participate in as many competitions as possible, but he needs to continuously add to his tally of grand slam wins as well. If he doesn’t, then…well, he should know that Rafael Nadal is not too far behind and may have just got his number!
It would be hard for you to come across a hardcore tennis fan not acquainted with the name of Billie Jean King. After all the 74 old year old ex-world number one and the winner of 12 singles Grand Slam Titles should need no introduction, right? However, over the course of time, age appears to be taking a toll on Billie, owing to how her recent talk of reducing the number of sets male tennis players play at Grand Slams, has brought out surprise, resentment and disgust among the lovers of the game.
The reasoning Billie gave to buttress her stance was based upon how she found the large number of sets to be the primary reason for tennis stars getting injured all the time. However, while presenting such an interesting insight, Billie must have forgotten the likes of Roger Federer, who are still fit and entitled to being called the best in the world owing to not only their superior fitness but performance as well.
The more you think about it, the more you realize that Billie’s remarks will give tennis stars nothing more than an excuse to blame their failures and injuries upon. Grand Slam matches have featured five sets for as long as we can remember and the fans would appreciate if the legacy is not trifled with. On top of that, shortening the matches will have implications on the broadcasters as well, owing to how the new rules will have a significant impact on how long the matches last.
Darwin argued for the survival of the fittest, in his theory of natural selection, and this is exactly how it should be in the world of tennis as well. The unfit will succumb to the competition and continue to find petty excuses for their failures while the great ones will rise up to the top as a result of their superior passion and hard work!
We all lay stress on “thinking before saying”. Well, with the advancement of social media, what they should be laying stress on is: think before you tweet. Tennys Sandgren, an American tennis star, had to learn this lesson the hard way, soon after he had come on to the scene. The 26-year-old must have been ecstatic upon defeating the fifth ranked player in the world to progress into the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, but he must have certainly detested he scrutiny that followed. Sandgren had followed a number of prominent figures of the alt-right mindset and retweeted a number of their tweets also. Racism and the “Spirit Cooking” campaign were some of the things that he had tweeted on during the Trump – Hilary election bout.
Instead of apologizing on holding views that were based on pure racism and hatred, Sandgren resorted to cheap excuses when inquired about them in a press conference. On top of that, he even chose to delete all of his tweets, in an attempt to fulfill his “version of a clean start”. Will somebody tell Mr. Sandgren that’s not how “clean starts” work for the sophisticated and rational population of the world? If not, then he’ll certainly be in for a rude awakening—courtesy of the French media—when he flies off for the French Open in a few months’ time!
We all know Novak Djokovic for the feats he pulls off on the tennis court, right? I mean, who could forget the 2012 Australian Open Final, which lasted for almost six hours, before an exhausted Djokovic emerged victorious. Regardless of how phenomenal that match between Nadal and Djokovic might have been, it’s a surprise that Djokovic is using it to justify his injury stricken 2017.
In a recent tweet, Novak Djokovic blamed that final for the fact that he and Nadal are in need of rehabilitation after the injuries that they suffered in 2017. Not only that, he went on to comment on how Roger Federer now has a chance to usurp the title of number one tennis player in the world, all because Nadal had to go through that fateful match back in 2012.It’s a surprise that Djokovic claims that the match had lasting impacts on him and Nadal, especially when you consider how much younger the two tennis stars were back in 2012.
To claim that the only reason why Federer—one of the greatest of all time—has got a chance of becoming number one again is Nadal’s injury, would be absolutely preposterous. Federer is 36 now and still less prone to injury than Nadal and Djokovic, who are supposedly in their prime. Both Djokovic and Nadal need to take lessons on fitness from Roger Federer, instead of moping about how a match has had lasting impact on them. It’s a fact that only the fittest survive!
When you speak of Rafael Nadal, you already know how great of a tennis star he is. However, another set of words that has been associated with Nadal’s name is “injury prone”. Yes, Rafael Nadal is probably the most injury prone star in the circuit, currently. Therefore, when you hear that Nadal has made claims of beating Roger Federer’s Grand Slam record, you cannot help but laugh at the mockery that the Spaniard is making out of himself.
Nadal might be four years younger than Federer, but it wouldn’t be wrong to say that he cannot even come close to the high standards of tennis fitness that the 36 year old veteran has managed to maintain. Continuing his dominance, Federer won his 20th Grand Slam title after he beat Marin Cilic in the final of the Australian Open. And what was Nadal doing while Federer was hunting for the gold? Well, he was out injured…again!
It is one thing to be optimistic and self confident, but with Nadal, it’s more a case of being delusional than self confidence. Unless Nadal could, somehow, swap his fitness and consistency with Federer’s, it’s almost a certainty that his trophy cabinet won’t even be close to Federer’s, by the time both of these stars decide to hang their shoes!