“Last year was difficult,”
“I’m just happy playing enough matches where you feel like you have momentum, you have some confidence, and you’re enjoying it at the same time. Last year, that wasn’t always the case.”
“Things are easier now, and I’m able to take advantage of the fact that I’m just healthy.”
“There is a sense of calmness and confidence to my game,”
“Also that grit and that feeling of wanting to win badly, which was hard to find at times last year.”
“It’s nice proving it to myself, the team and my fans that they can still count on me. It’s nice giving yourself opportunities to win a tournament, no doubt about that.”
I missed a post for the Haas match so I thought I’d make a post about this interesting article I found on the ATP website. Roger is talking about some of the difficulties he had to face last year and his current success. A lot of what he says here I have touched upon in the past as well. He is admitting that he was not enjoying it all the time, which to me was obvious. But he kept saying that he was enjoying it and that he wants to continue. So credit to him for hanging in there and believing that things will improve. That’s really the most important thing for me here. The fact that he felt he still had the game left and persisting until he found it, despite a score of naysayers telling him to quit and writing him off. Many of his own fans saying that he is doing his legacy damage and that he should have quit after 2012 too.
I got critical myself at times but I always maintained that the game was still there. Just seeing that prophecy come true feels great, so I can imagine how great it must feel for Roger to make it come true. I always thought the game was still there, but of course you are gonna doubt it yourself sometimes seeing the way he was struggling. I think it is testament to Roger’s positive attitude and persistence. When there are so many naysayers and you are struggling yourself it must be very difficult to keep the faith. But by sticking to his guns he is once again inspiring many people, including myself. On my blog I tend to have good optimism and faith, but it’s harder for me in real life. I think the ‘game’s is still there but I find it hard to stay strong when my faith is tested. So Roger inspires me and helps me to persist.
I’m sure it inspires you too in your own life. Things have been rough for me of late and it is like Roger’s success was right on time to inspire me. Like there is some kind of cosmic connection. Anyway it clearly helps to be healthy. Last year the back kept troubling Roger and he never got any momentum or confidence going. Only around the time of the US Open did his back improve and was he able to start building some confidence, to the point now where he is close to his best again. It’s funny how things always start changing for Roger around the US Open. It happened in 2011 too anyway, after he lost to Djokovic for the second consecutive year after having match points. He decided to do some introspection at that point after which we saw the emergence of Fed 3.0.
Back in the driver seat
Roger also talks about the sense of calmness and confidence in his game, which I have been talking about since Melbourne. Also the feeling of wanting to win badly which I have mentioned in my last few posts. I think those two things go hand in hand. A sense of calm but not in the sense of not caring. A calm on the outside but a competitive fire burning deep within. I don’t think mentally we have ever seen Roger as strong as he is currently. It’s still early days and I don’t want to praise him too much yet, but he seems to be mentally stronger after the adversity of last year. That is what adversity does in my own experience. It makes you strong, as long as you don’t allow it to break you. You just gotta hang in there for dear life until the storm passes. Roger may not be physically as strong as in his prime, but I think he is stronger in the mental department.
And since tennis is mostly a mental game he may become a better player than he ever was if he keeps this form up. It seems illogical at age 32 and he may not be as consistent as he was in his prime, but Roger always had all the shots and talent. If there was the slightest of weaknesses it was in the mental department. So if he stays as strong in that department as he has of late he could scale new heights. Finally Roger says it’s nice to prove to himself, the team, and the fans that he can still do it. That is in order of importance as well. Roger is alone on the tennis court but he has a very positive and supportive team around him which would have played a big role in helping him through last year. The fans come last because even though he has a loyal fan base, the fans are the furthest from him and had he listened to some of them he would have retired long ago.
It’s been over 5 years now that I had this blog which I started at the end of 2008 and ever since then people have been writing Roger off. Since then we have seen the emergence of Fed 2.0 which won 3 slams, Fed 3.0 who won another slams and returned to world number one, and now Fed 4.0 is emerging. Who knows what he will achieve but the most fun thing about being a Fedfan has probably been seeing him prove the critics wrong time and time again. His prime was fun, don’t get me wrong. The unprecedented domination he showed over the field was a sight to behold, but seeing him prove the critics wrong after they write him off is a lot of fun too. Roger now gave himself a chance to win another big tournament and prove the critics wrong once more. If there is one thing he showed over the years is that we can indeed count on him.
Thank you for the inspiration champ!
Ps. Thank you for abiding by the commenting rules. I feel things have been much more positive around here since I made the rules. Criticizing Nadal all day make us look like bitter haters and doesn’t do Roger’s greatness justice. Other than that it just becomes really boring and clichéd.