My adoration of Roger Federer is no secret. I’ve celebrated when he won. And I have cried when he lost. And just like everyone else did, I had doubts if he ever had it in him to win another major. He has put all of it to rest today.
Roger Federer has won his 18th grand slam title earlier today. By doing so, he has further distanced himself from the rest. The next highest grand slam winner is Sampras and Rafa, both tied at 14 each.
So what makes this victory so special? The fact that it came nearly 5 years since his last slam, at an age when 90% tennis players are into retirement. And against the player who has been his nemesis for the entire duration of his career. And to do so upon returning back from a career-threatening 6 month injury layoff. I think nothing can be more special.
But what makes it special for me? I think I’ve said it before and I will say it again. Roger has been my inspiration since the time I understood what’s the real meaning of inspiration. Everything about him has been surreal. At a time when he was winning grand slams , defeating opponents, rising up the rankings and creating history, I was closing sales orders, achieving my quotas, cracking contracts and signing commission cheques. There really is no comparison but to have someone who has mastered his art with sheer hard work, to follow someone of his stature gives me the kind of hope like no one else.
What’s not to like about a man who has single-handedly inspired millions of kids around to world to pick up a tennis racket?
And to all those like me, who never played the game, Federer was the epitome of success. His success meant the world was in order. And that there is nothing to worry. We are all going to be OK. It gave me hope. And a sense of belief. That even I can be special. That even I can achieve the seemingly impossible. There are times in life when we are in self-doubt. And in those moments on weakness, people want to cling onto whatever they can find. Even the tiny bit of hope, that little ray of little, is enough. To brush ourselves and get back into the arena. To start believing again that things will get better. Invariably, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Roger brings me that hope. To me, my ambitions and to my dreams. That it is not over till it’s over. Roger brings me that will to keep fighting. To be persistent and to work hard. There is no shortcut to success. And anyone whose seen it closely can tell you there really isn’t. Roger brings me the belief. In myself and in what means the most to me.
So if one man can inspire millions with what he can do with a tennis racket, then that’s really enough for me to believe in myself. To wake up tomorrow morning with a new zeal, renewed hope and reignited enthusiasm about life. To understand that failure is ok. We all fail. We all lose. But to get back up and get to work, that’s the beauty of HOPE.
To all of us who believe we can, I can just use the same 3 words that inspired millions around the same time some 8 years back – YES WE CAN.
To Roger – Thank you for letting us be part of this amazing journey and to instill hope in all of us. In me. Good luck for the rest of your career. For me, this was the final frontier. #18. We will be with you till the day you call it a day.
Till then….how about #20 @ Wimbledon?