Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Greatest Tennis Player in the World

The 2008 Australian Open just started. I hope Federer wins a fourth. I understand why some people resent his dominance because I felt the same way about Sampras whose game I found as fascinating as watching paint dry. But Roger is capable of such artistry, such creativity, such venom. He is like a beautiful cobra, capable of deadly strikes, but how can you not admire the beauty of his cunning and calculation? I do believe that he is the greatest tennis player in the world and I feel lucky to be alive to watch his evolution over the years. Check out the Australian Open website at and catch Federer as he makes his run for history. Fingers crossed!

Last night I watched the match between Jelena Jankovic (seeded 3) and Tamira Paszek (ranked #96). I lost count of the number of times Paszek had match point on her racket. In the end she lost 10-12 in the third. Paszek had no business losing that match. But winning in tennis is as much a mental act as it takes physical strength and tactical knowledge. Paszek had the strength and the tactics. I know she did because time after time she made it to match point. Like I said, I lost count. And did I say that Jankovic is nursing a hamstring injury? And yet after all that Jankovic won the match. She did so on the mental strength alone. Or it might be more accurate to say that Paszek lost because of mental weakness. Tennis as a metaphor for life. I do believe that life throws opportunity after opportunity at us. It takes mental strength to recognize the moment and to step up and seize it.