No way would I be a journalist. You guys have tried to kill Roger - often. But he’s always come back and proved you wrong
– Rafael Nadal
Call it complacency or resignation.
In life there are times when one feels that one has already given it the best shots that they cannot be repeated, leave alone bettering them. The thought comes and goes as age catches up.
When Roger Federer entered Wimbledon finals on Sunday against a relatively youthful Scot Andy Murray there was absolutely no doubt that both were sweating under unprecedented pressure.
Hopes of an entire kingdom were pinned on Murray as British sports fans expected him to end Britain’s 76- year- old drought for an All England Club men’s champion. The cheering squad from the Royal box included Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton and her sister, British Prime Minister David Cameron and David Beckham and his wife Posh.
On the other hand, Federer playing his eighth Wimbledon title was at the butt end of critics who had written him off. Though six tournament titles were already under belt there was no guarantee that he would regain form and win the seventh. For two years he was without a grand slam and the younger players were gaining ground.
Federer himself looked tired, gradually losing the killer instinct, some assumed. His quotes after defeats during the last two years gave no clue where he was heading. Many thought the greatest of the game was buying time for an honourable exit.
The way the Swiss legend played on Sunday proved only Roger Federer knew what he wanted in life – to be his own challenge – to reclaim number one spot. This was notwithstanding the fact that many former and current players had already rated him the greatest in the game ever.
Just a month away from his 31st birthday, four years past tennis prime, Roger Federer went beyond the rank of the greatest ever. It was not the big money, nor the greed to give good competition to the talented set of youngsters but just to prove the point that there’s no limit to excellence.
A few years back a former world number one Jimmy Connors commenting on Federer had reportedly said “In an era of specialists, you’re a clay court specialist, a grass court specialist, or a hard court specialist...or you’re Roger Federer.”
And in what style he has proven that!