Thursday, 24 April 2014

The Living Legend

Roger Federer is my hero. There is no other player (except Sachin Tendulkar) who commands more respect from me. And that comes not just from the fact that he is a legendary tennis player.

In a cricket obsessed nation, ours was a home of tennis lovers, thanks to dad. Every Federer match was an event not be missed. He was an artist in action. Absolutely class apart. The effortless ease with which he hit his shots, the graceful singlehanded backhands, his poise, his elegance. Even when two sets down, he looked unperturbed.  He knew he could clinch it. And that's what made him special. His confidence and self - belief.

He is not beefed up or super strong physically. But it's his mind that defines him. The sheer brilliance of his game - so intelligent - and superior mental strength. That's what won matches for him. That took him to beat and create tennis records, going down in history as the biggest tennis legend so far.

And that's the one thing that has changed in the last couple of years. Maybe his focus is now more on family, or he has let his critics make him believe that he is too old to play now. Whatever the case may be, I don't see that poise anymore. He gives up at some point. He thinks he will lose. And he does. That's unfortunate. Because he is still Federer, and he still has all it takes to clinch those titles. I just get so heartbroken. I still can't bring myself to see him lose to Djokovic (especially to Djokovic) or to Wawrinka. Sigh. I still hope that his inner strength will rise, and he will be number one again. That he will keep playing and entertaining us with such stylish tennis, an art that is all but lost these days.

And that's not where it ends. I respect him deeply for one more thing. Despite his blue-blooded looks and his legendary status, he has never been involved in a controversy. He has stayed true to his wife Mirka for fourteen long years, since they started dating, and I hope they will be together forever. Deep respect. He makes my belief stronger that true manhood is not about how many 'birds' you can catch, but despite having the ability to do so, choosing to be with your queen forever.

It's difficult not to be in awe of a person who stands for everything legendary. Like Sheldon Cooper says,  'minstrels will write songs about him'. And no matter who is reigning, for me, this era of tennis will always be defined by Roger Federer.

Roger Federer - my hero.

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