Thursday, May 10, 2012
Roger and his Destiny with Tennis
No matter how much Roger has accomplished and what achievements and hardware he has acquired, there are critics everywhere ready to pounce on him the moment he loses a Slam or a tournament, and the GOAT (greatest of all time) debate begins immediately. Some have even suggested that he needed psychological counseling because he lost Wimbledon a couple of years ago.
His fans never question who the GOAT is, because in our hearts, it’s Roger Federer. I think he has been voted Fan Favorite 9 years in a row now. It’s a record no one can beat. Fans have a totally different view of Roger than the critics. We tend to grieve in private when he loses and we jump for joy when he wins. We write on his website to encourage him or congratulate him. We write on his Facebook wall to lift his spirits or share his happiness. We pray for him. We ask the angels to protect him. We write each other for comfort and consolation after he loses or share our absolute delight when he wins.
He was voted fan favorite 8 times out of 9 years. The year, ranked number three in the world, he is still voted fan favorite by fans, and voted sportmanship award by fellow players.
He is considered the greatest of all time by fans, that's all, no matter what others think.
It is interesting to me that many artists have understood the fans’ perception of Roger, not just as a great tennis player but as a wonderful human being. They seem to understand and thus are able to capture how we feel about Roger in their sculptures or photographs.
During the 2007 Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai, artists created the best 8 tennis players competing that year as Terracotta Warriors. They were truly wonderful to behold, and each warrior stood with a tennis racquet in hand as their weapon of choice. They were great visual symbols of what would take place during that week. Roger was the victorious warrior that year.
What I have learned from Roger Federer this year is that he doesn’t concern himself with what commentators and critics say about him. He may not have had a spectacular year by his own standards but he always listens to his own heart that tells him “I am passionate about tennis; I believe in myself and I can still win!” It is a lesson not just for tennis but for life.