I want to thank the reader who made me aware of this article. It’s quite an inspiring read. As always Roger is the exception to the rule, and unlike most other tennis professionals who had kids, it’s very unlikely that having babies will have any negative effect on Roger’s career whatsoever. Again I can’t help but be inspired by this rare individual. While the titles for tennis greats like Mcenroe, Edberg and Lendl dried up after their first kids, Roger seems to be just carrying on where he left off. I recently read an interview with Ivan Lendl where he was talking about tennis as if his tennis days was something from a different lifetime. I don’t ever see that happening with Roger. I think tennis will always be a part of Roger, and nothing will ever get in the way of his love for the game.
During his slump, there were times when I thought Roger could lose interest in the game once he is married and have kids. It just wasn’t a particularly happy time for him, and he wasn’t having much fun out there anymore. But I think Stefan Edberg raised a great point when he said that winning the French Open extended Roger’s career. It was the one tournament that seemed like it could always evade him like Wimbledon evaded Lendl. I think that is what made Lendl lose interest in the game more than anything else. If Lendl had won Wimbledon, it would have made a huge difference to his legacy, and maybe it would have extended his career as well to become an even greater player. No one really knows how long Roger is really going to play tennis, but he did say he still wants his kids to see him play.
So at least we know he plans to play for quite a few more years, at least until the 2012 Olympics. Roger may be getting five hours of sleep instead of nine hours of sleep these days being on diaper duty, but it sure doesn’t seem to be affecting his tennis. There was a lot of speculation about what influence being a father would have on Roger’s career, and I think we all were a little apprehensive about the fact that Roger may not be the same player. But judging by what we have seen so far, I am relieved to say that it doesn’t seem to have any negative effect on his tennis at all. In Cincinnati Roger looked sharper and more relaxed than we have seen from him a long time, and judging from his play there, I think we may just see another master class from him in the US Open.
Winning the French Open and breaking Sampras’ record at Wimbledon could not have come at a better time for Roger. It took a huge amount of pressure off him, and with the twins being born just after, it was once again peRFect timing from Mr. PeRFect. Roger starts his first grand slam as a father at the US Open tomorrow and by winning his sixth consecutive title there, he will dispel any doubt that there may be left about him being able to balance being a father with being a tennis player. If he does not win doubt will once again set in, at least from the media. But I think that is very unlikely to happen. To me, it looks like Roger is more set to win another grand slam than he has been in quite some time. Go finish a monumental grand slam year in style champ!
Presser: Roger will start his title defense on Arthur Ashe court against Devin Britton, and 18-year-old American who won the NCAA championships in singles this year. I don’t know much about the kid, but he seems talented. Of course, Roger is taking no match for granted as he says in his presser.