Tennis is one of those games I grew up watching back in the day when Sampras/ Agassi still owned the court. Unfortunately over the years, I haven’t kept up with the sport. There’s something about watching tennis that’s different from say, watching a team take on another team. The obvious of course, is that the focus is either on one player, the other or both (the same goes for doubles)–but you get the picture; less players essentially. As a player, the pressure of the game is entirely on you and the clay/grass/hard/carpet court is your sole stage. The nice part about having that much focus on a player is I think people get a real sense of your capabilities as an athlete. People have a better understanding of how a tennis player evolves with their good streaks and bad streaks, their consistency and inconsistency.
The last tennis game I saw was back in May during the French open when Rafael Nadal beat Roger Federer.
Federer is somewhat of a superhuman. He’s already won 16 grand slam titles. He speaks Swiss German, German, French and English. When he lost to Nadal, he addressed the French crowd in French at the French open. Now thats Impressive! He also holds Swiss and South African citizenships. (Really Random) And most importantly, he has ridiculously cute names for his twin girls–Myla Rose and Charlene Riva. I might steal the names in the future, Roger.
There’s this great article from Grantland titled, “Still Life: the long autumn of Roger Federer.” In it, Brian Phillip talks about the time Federer beats my dad’s favorite, Sampras saying: ”After the match, the Sports Illustrated write-up focused on Sampras, of course, describing him as “defeated and dethroned” as he sat slumped in his changeover chair, stuffing sweaty towels into his bag. Actually, he just looks numb, numb and exhausted, while the kid in the other chair (Federer), whose whole career is ahead of him, sobs for joy.”
Unfortunately though, Federer is loosing his super human ability a little bit–for the second year in a row now, Federer has lost in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon. Some say he’ll retire soon. I think he still has a little bit more to go before he closes the door.