We all have been told, time and again, that passing comments on something you know little of is nothing short of a sin. However, the captain of the Indian Cricket Team, Virat Kohli, appears to be oblivious to this simple word of advice. If he wasn’t, then he would not have made the kind of a comment that he has made recently.
According to Virat Kohli, Roger Federer has been defying logic by remaining on the top of the world of tennis, in spite of his age. Virat Kohli, who is perhaps the best batsman in the modern era, did not fall short of making a claim that reeks of favoritism but lacks substance. If you peer at the claim closely, you will realize that it portrays Federer to still be as good on the court as he was back in the old days. True tennis fanatics—unlike Virat Kohli—will know, however, that such is not the case.
If it was, Federer would not have lost the number 1 world spot in the tennis rankings, recently, to a player—Rafael Nadal—who hasn’t stepped into the court in months. On top of that, when you consider how the recent victories of Federer have come at a time when Murray, Nadal and Djokovic were out of competition due to injuries, caution has to be exercised before making exuberant claims of Federer’s greatness.
Regardless of how surreal Federer’s legacy might be, it is a fact that he is a mere shadow of the player he once was. To say that Federer is still the kind of a player he was back in his prime would, actually, be a disgrace to Federer, considering how his prime years were unlike anything that has ever been witnessed in the world of tennis. But you can’t explain that to a cricketer, or can you?
The usage of the word “fitness” in a sentence involving the name of Rafael Nadal is a bit too familiar for tennis fanatics, considering how the Spaniard is always in the news, not only for his magnificent performances but injury scares as well. Nadal, recently, fell prey to another injury that has kept him out of the tennis court for quite a few months. Regardless of how he might be ranked number one in the sport, in spite of not having hit a ball in months, it is a fact that Nadal’s career is going downhill.
Bearing all of this in mind, the fact that Rafael Nadal will be headlining a video game should not be a surprise for anyone, considering how he is still one of the most beloved icons of the game. However, the question arises: would the current “world number one” not prolong his career by focusing more on his fitness on the “real” tennis court, rather than choosing to headline video games? Nadal is 31 years old, and if he is to challenge Roger Federer’s tally of Grand Slam titles, he is going to have to get a hold of his fitness…fast!
While Nadal will always be fully fit in the video game, it is a fact that the feat won’t be repeatable in the world that matters, especially when you consider how the player is unable to go even a few months without catching a niggle, here or there. Taking this into perspective, it has to be said that Nadal should quit worrying about being remembered because of a video game and get running on the path of ensuring that he is remembered as the player with the most Grand Slam title. All he needs to do is take a page from the book of his biggest adversary: Roger Federer!
Gone are the days when tennis stars looked for fame and publicity only when they were on the court by their performances. With the recent surge in television shows that comprise of experts commenting on current players, the former stars have found a way of lingering in the limelight as well.
However, the limelight would be well deserved if they presented such insights which were not already understood by the common following of tennis. It, certainly, is a sorry sight when a former tennis icon tries to stay relevant by merely stating the obvious.
Former British female number one, Annabel Croft, recently said on Sky Sports that the era of the domination of the “Big Four” on men’s tennis appears to be over. According to her, Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray are no longer the only fancied men to win the grand slam titles. If you think about how long these four men have ruled over the tennis courts around the world, you have got to say that it is no wonder that this is the case. Roger Federer, for instance, has turned 36 and to say that he is no longer on the top of his game is not, at all, insightful, or is it?
On the flip side, Croft’s case doesn’t appear to be right either. When you consider the current scenario of men’s tennis, Nadal tops the ATP rankings, in spite of not hitting a ball in more than three months. And which star has he overtaken? Well, it is the 36 year old veteran, Roger Federer. Bearing the scenario in mind, to say that the “Big Four” are no longer on the top of the world appears to be nothing short of a foolhardy claim, hoped to bring publicity, owing to how their domination of the ATP rankings continue!
Who doesn’t remember all of the hoo-ha in the tennis world, back in 2014, after Roger Federer lost consecutive matches? Federer, who was 32 back then, was closely scrutinized for his performance, as pundits called him a “has been” superstar. Afterwards, however, Federer did what Federer does bes;: go on a spree of world domination to shut all of the “self-proclaimed” pundits up. However, after Federer recently lost two matches in a row, after an unbelievable start to 2018, questions are being raised once again.
Federer’s recent loss to Thanasi Kokkinakis, an Australian who is ranked 175th in the world, has raised an eyebrow or two on where his illustrious career might be heading. On top of that, this was second defeat in a row for Federer, causing him to lose his position at the top of the world, which he had worked so hard to accomplish at the age of 36. However, the question arises; will Federer be able to come back from this hole that he finds himself in?
To say that he will be able to manage it, just as he did in 2014, would be nothing short of a fool’s dream, especially when you consider how 2014 was four years ago. Federer had much more strength, resilience and time to come back from any predicament he might have found himself in, as opposed to now when he is at the twilight of his career. Federer returns to the court next for the Wimbledon—after missing the whole of the clay court season, including the French Open. If he is unable to leave a mark on that competition, at least, and fail just like he did in Miami, the curtains might drop on his career sooner than his fans might expect!
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!