Monday, July 10, 2006

Dignity in triumph

Yesterday, I watched the Wimbledon finals between Roger Federer and Nadal. It was a study in contrast. Federer was cool, composed and dignified. No fist-pumping, yelling, no jubilation after winning a point. It wasn't that he was unhappy, it was just that he wasn't ecstatic on winning mere battles when the war was going on. Nadal, on the other hand, was celebrating every point, as though he was proving a point to himself. For me, it indicates a lack of self-confidence, that he doesn't believe in his own ability. It is what separates men from boys - Hewitt, Roddick, Nadal. Irrespective of who won, it was obvious who was the champion.

Pete Sampras was another. His game was considered boring, that he was too dominant ... He just came on the court, did his job and walked out. No theatrics, no pony-tail, no ear-ring (*hint*), no tantrums. His tennis was worth watching, and that was enough. No need for side-entertainment. He didn't lose his mental focus on silly things like that.

Why do I think it is so important ? More that the self-confidence aspect, winning should give the winner humility. That he spent a lot of effort on winning, but all he won was just a point, just a game or just another title, and that, in the ultimate scheme of things, it is probably irrelevant. That, all you won was just a battle. Anyone who thinks otherwise hasn't grown up. It is the maturity that is missing.

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