Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Triumph and Defeat

There's something about tennis ... it's a sport, a game, a pastime that can enrich one's life by engendering good health and fun. It can also be quite enjoyable on tv, especially when it is televised against the Jubilee weekend!

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the French #1 played yesterday against Novak Djokovic, the World #1 in the quarter-final of the French Open tournament at Roland Garros in Paris. The ups and downs of this match were quite heart-rendering (as the Omi of ravaj used to say). Tsonga didn't show up for the first set, and was trounced 1-6. Then somehow he clawed his way into a 2 sets to 1 lead. In the fourth set he had several match points, but couldn't put them away. And he lost the tie-break.

Djokovic was incredibly tough. The nearer to defeat he got, the harder he played. And it broke the will of Tsonga. He crumbled in the final set.

What I find so fascinating about this sport is the influence the mental state of the players ultimately has on the result. They are physically so fit and so talented and so experienced. What often tips the balance between losing and winning is their mental toughness. And that is what Djokovic had. At the start of the match I was rooting for the fairytale of the Frenchman in Paris. I decided that Djokovic was growing a goatee to hide his unfortunate resemblance to President Assad of Syria. But Novak won me over. It was mostly the power of his will to win. However, the piece de resistance was that in the middle of his struggle, he was able to applaud when his opponent beat him with a superior shot. More than once. There's nothing I love more than a good sport!

So bad luck Monsieur Tsonga, and well done Mr Djokovic. I hope you go on to make a proper Grand Slam.

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