Thursday, 27 January 2011

Greatness - A curse???

It was 2008 all over again..2008 AO was one of the only two times(including 2011) since 2005 that neither Roger nor Rafa is in a Major final. Out of the 20 Majors (2005-10) only 3 has been claimed by players whose name isn't Roger or Rafa (Safin, Nole and Del potro have won 1 GS each).That is the domination they have created.That is the domination we are talking about.

Yesterday Rafa lost his QF match against a resurgent Ferrer. Ferrer's awesome victory will always be with an Astrix of Rafa being injured. So with the Rafa Slam talk was Over, all eyes were now on Roger to win his 17th Major title and his 5th AO title. But Roger fell short of the task in front of an inspired Nole. Mind you Roger didn't play bad, Nole was just the better player for the day. So all the journos and sadist has again started their game of writing Roger off.

I seriously dont know how these people don't get tired of this game. They started it in late 2007 and after that Roger has again and again proved them wrong. Roger has joking said in one of his press conferences that he is responsible for all this. He has created this monster of him being invincible that each and every loss is a tough one to take..Not for him but for all of us(including his haters). He understands its a sport and haar jeet to hoti hi reheti hai. but lets have a look at the monster he has created.
  • The most important achievement from my point of view is his consecutive 23 semifinal streak in Majors. Each year has 4 Majors. So for almost 6 years, he reached all Semi Finals of the Majors.Now that's what you call consistency.The second person with maximum consecutive Semis is Ivan Lendl  and his is 10 straight semis.See the difference.
  • In those 23 Major tournaments, he won the event 14 times and he was the runner up 6 times. That means he reached the final 20 times (thats also a record BTW to reach final 20 times out of 23)
  • Next come the 16 Major titles. Here he surpassed Sampras's record of 14 Major titles. The significant difference between these two records is Sampras won these over a period of 13 years and 49 Majors whereas Fed achieved this in span of 8 years and 27 Majors.
  • He was the world No. 1 for 237 consecutive weeks. Thats more than 4 years.
  • His another impressive streak is 10 consecutive Major finals.The second here is also Roger this time with 8.
  • Fed is the only man who has won 3 calender slams in 3 years (2004 AO-Wim-US), (2006 AO-Wim-US),(2007 AO-Wim-US) and in process becoming the only man to defend all of his three titles next year (2007)
Wikipedia has enough of the records and if I have to put all of them here then I will exceed my limit. But you got the picture right? This guy has created an image of being a super Human, Mr.Invincible. He achieved the greatness in tennis with his Exquisite play. His tennis is not brutal nor it is the power tennis which is dominating the game these days, its the pure classic tennis.The real tennis we are slowly slipping away from. His running cross court forehand is a treat to watch. His drop shots, his serves and his placement makes him so hard to play. His cool and calm On and Off court behaviour is like a true Champ. All these things have added fuel to that monster over these years.

And understandably people are afraid of the monster. So when they get an opening, any weakness they attack vehemently. Any chink in the armor and all the weapons are drawn. Its interesting, When Nadal started winning Majors (back in 2005) these same people cheered for him, held him high as he was their only hope of defeating this Invincible guy. Rafa proved a worthy opponent. He kept coming and coming. Everybody was happy. But as soon as Rafa himself came close to become another great, they started talking about his injuries and started writing him off. This shows that we all are afraid of greatness. Does it feels like a fairy tale, too good to come true?? Is that the reason not to accept the Greatness? Or its the level of expectations and the disappointments that come with such high level of expectations.

Looking at peoples' reactions I wonder if greatness indeed is a curse. You try so hard to achieve all your dreams. People start admiring you, but then they don't accept the fact that you are human too. We have seen this happening to Sachin so many times. I remember when Sehwag first arrived at the scene with a bang, all those people who are afraid of the greatness held him higher than Sachin. They wrote off Sachin so many times. Each time he has proven them wrong.

All the greats are alike. They keep fighting till the end.And I am sure Roger will have the last say in all this furor. But it pains me to see how a single loss can make people write off the Great. I feel sad when people are happy just because Roger lost (There are people who don't support any particular player but are just happy to see Roger at the losing end).

You cannot please everyone Rog and you know this. Lets see who can reach 10 or more consecutive Major finals..forget the 23 consecutive Semis. I for myself will always love you Rog. Its what you have achieved, you have given me as a tennis fan,worth worshipping rather than a single loss, slump in form. Remember Roger

People who hate you are just the confused admirers. They can’t figure out why everyone loves you. :)


  1. Ashvini!!! Lovely post and a very timely one!!

    "A big tree attracts the woodsman's axe"!!!

    Human nature!!! get behind the under dog..and attack the top players!! reason: we can get there, might as well pull them down..

    But such is the greatness of these players, that tunr around and make the every so called "ending", into actually a new beginning!!!

    So here to Fed's another new beginnings!!

    PS: Finally good to see players like Nole, making some space for himself at the top amongst RF n sure, there was space for more!!!

    Awesome read.. fascinated by Fed's records..!! thanks for this write up!!


  2. wow..someone does agree with me here -

    @Jenny i agree..Nole has its long coming..he is the most consistent 3rd player after roger and rafa..and you have to give it to his fighting spirit to keep that motivation going