Every once in a while, an event takes place in the world of sports that instills hope in our culture, that reminds us the bad guys don't always prevail.
It might be a bit of an exaggeration to label Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal bad guys. Mostly, they are a product of a culture that celebrates self-aggrandizement, and self-absorbed, ego-driven, "where's the spotlight" performances. Actually, each has gentlemanly qualities it appears they are stifling in order to fist-pump and accumulate accolades from crowds and the general public. Even they had to allow a smile to emerge yesterday (July 8) as consummate professional Roger Federer outlasted Great Britain's tennis icon Andy Murray for the Wimbledon Championship.
Roger's victory is an amazing acknowledgment of the power of will, determination, confidence, and perseverance. Clearly, there have been many instances over the last several years when it appeared it was time to cede the mantle of tennis dominance to Djokovic and Nadal, who were taking turns defeating Fedrerer in championship event semifinals, so that they could knock each other around in dramatic, history-making Final showdowns. It would have been easy for Federer to either admit his age had relegated him to a level a notch below the upstarts, or retire a heroic champion rivaling anyone who has ever spun a drop shot over a net against a bemused opponent. After all, how many times have we all been witness to the athlete who stayed too long, who sullied an extraordinary career with Mohammed Ali-like performances after he missed the ringing of the final bell?
In tennis, 30 is considered old. Only a few champions have been consistently successful at that age. But Federer stayed at it, playing frequently, winning smaller tournaments, reaching the semifinals in the majors, and remaining within striking distance of the leader. In so doing, he not only captured another improbable Wimbledon title, he recaptured the number one spot he held for so long earlier in his career. All the while, he never wildly gesticulated to the crowd, or demeaned an opponent with histrionics.
Thank you, Roger, for restoring our belief in just and fair outcomes.
- · Yahoo! Sports Roger Federer page
- · Yahoo! Sports Novak Djokovic page
- · Yahoo! Sports Rafael Nadal page
- · Yahoo! Sports Andy Murray page
- · Chris Chase, Busted Racquet, Yahoo! Sports, Roger Federer wins seventh Wimbledon, extends Grand Slam record
- Sports & Recreation
- Novak Djokovic
- Rafael Nadal
- Roger Federer
- Andy Murray