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An epic Wimbledon final can reform a non-believer

By Anushree Madappa
Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer

Bengaluru, July 18: At 4 hours 57 minutes, critics are calling it the longest men's final in the tournament's history, the last set alone lasted some 2 hours. That's a length of a decent movie.

And since we are well aware of cinematic realms penchant towards turning awe-inspiring, moisture inducing, sports spectacles into a glorified blockbuster phenomenon, they should fish out a script for Sunday's Wimbledon finals post-haste.

If there was an inspiring tale just waiting to be exploited for capital gains, you couldn't look far beyond what transpired on Sunday. The game was laced with intrigue, agony, climactic twists, ecstasy and enough star power to render it a roaring success. To be fair, Wimbledon has always managed to surpass everyone's expectations and Sunday's game was no exception.

Two Wimbledon giants Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer battled it out for the grand title. But as the game goes, there could only be one winner ( this is hardly the little league, where everyone walks away with a trophy) and Djokovic prevailed in the first fifth-set tiebreaker, where he hit a winner and meted it out with the crowd working against him.

Let's face it, it hardly inspires confidence when the vast majority of the crowd is rooting for the opponent but Novak did not let that deter him from the prize. He had his eye on the big picture- the 16th Grand Slam title.

Here's the thing, Not everyone can sit and wax/type--a play by play-- poetic rendition of the game. As someone with a strong aversion towards any sporting activity, the words will only ring/read un-true and sorely depict our shortcomings in the field. Contrary to popular belief, love for sports cannot be determined as a biological imperative.

The truth is some are genetically pre-disposed towards loving it, Some learn to love it and others just don't care for it. Most of our knowledge of sports extends towards being a hostile observer of our family's Friday night dinners, that has always held an atmosphere of a disappointing tennis game that you were once forced to watch; lots of shouting, semi-digestible food, and people just making a run for it.

And since tennis or any other games for that matter is not our game, we are going to end the analogy right there.

The avoidance method. Drinking, excessive use of the restroom, and if all else fails, take advantage of the nearest navigable escape route in your vicinity, is the only way to get through the said dinners or forced viewing of a sporting event.

However, Sunday's match has indubitably turned a non-believer into a reluctant Fan. When you witness (albeit reluctantly) an intrepid display of resilience and fortitude mixed with unparalleled stoicism that will put the best poker player to shame, consider yourself reformed. Their determination never falters.

Federer's strokes and movements were akin to the languid motions of a distinguished fencer and Djokovic's counter swings was a fitting response to his opponent's groundstrokes. In the end, Djokovic defeated Federer, 7-6 (5), 1-6, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 13-12 (3).

We live in a day and age where options run aplenty and patience runs low. When the going gets tough, we just want to cut our losses and move on to the next big thing. It's a universal truth that we all want to win.

When failure comes knocking down our down, we don't want to face it. we just want to close shop and walk away. We believe there is no grace in losing.

So when you witness men, who refuse to back-down, who persist in their quest for glory, who refuse to give up, despite the punishing pace of the game, it gives you pause.

Their humility gives you pause. Forces you to take stock of your resilience. When the great Federer can pick himself up, dust himself off and gear up for another fight after facing a tremendous loss in the world stage, the least us mere humans can do is learn from the tremendous display of sportsmanship and keep fighting.

The 37-year-old Federer was vying to win his ninth Wimbledon singles title. Had he won, he would have elevated his stature as the oldest man to win a major singles title in the Open era.

Cutting your loss is easy, but trudging through it and emerging on the other side is what creates a legend. Puts you in the league of the greats. And this particular match will certainly go down as one of the greats.

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Story first published: Thursday, July 18, 2019, 13:49 [IST]
Other articles published on Jul 18, 2019
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