The courts of Wimbledon have been a talent hunting ground which has given the world of tennis future champions .we saw Borris Becker at 16 plus and Tracy Austin at 14 plus changing the age of champions. Roger Federer also had his taste of success from these hallowed courts at 17 when he won the junior titles at the age of 17. The world of tennis has not seen many Junior Wimbeldon winners doing well at the senior events specially in singles.
Having played 16 years competitive myself I had experienced the importance of being a champion and found it difficult to hold on to your ranking at any level. I learnt that my decision of stopping to play competitive tennis at 29 was wrong after seeing Roger at 34 with lots of tennis still left in him. Roger like any other young boy had started to play sports for fun from the age of 8, he was fairly a good football player along with tennis .
The champion in making was spotted at the age of 11 when he became the top junior player of his country– that was the time he started to focus fully on tennis.
The champion in making was spotted at the age of 11 when he became the top junior player of his country– that was the time he started to focus fully on tennis. His path to success has been so constant that the theory ‘burn out’ specially in sport or game where individuals are involved proves most of the sports pundits wrong time and again. The Roger era started in 2003 with a defeat of Pete Sampras at Wimbledon after which he has never looked back.
To me Roger is a true success story to be placed to the world as a case study which can closely be studied by experts and coaches to make up road map for their players in a consistent way. If we study the success path of Roger he has achieved through a very organised way by winning tournaments at all level starting at the age of 14.
Till today, my focus and attention is on the 20 years of Roger’s era in which has been so consistent that since 2004 when he became World No.1 only the second ranks has changed till year 2016.
Wherein he has Ranked No.3, the challenges which he and his team faced from the young players who have been trained with new techniques and support system has not changed much. Infact, it looks like he still is a champion and a force at 34 to be beaten only in difficult 5 sets. His performance in Wimbledon this year after coming back from his injuries must has started to give sleepless nights to other coaches and experts who have written him off in last few months.
The performance of Roger at Wimbledon in 2016 with his fitness; spirit –he looks capable of winning another Wimbledon. I still remember Bjorn Borg after losing the final in Wimbledon to John McEnroe he gave up playing competitive tennis.
On the contrary, I see Roger walking away with hunger to come back with better plans for next year.
ALL the best Roger for Wimbledon 2017
Hemanshu Chaturvedi is a sports guru.