A walk down memory lane
With the classic victory of Roger Federer in the Australian Open, one that ensures his immortality, and that of Serena Williams, who is getting closer to that level as well, tennis is back on the horizon of great sporting events.
It has been almost 10 years since I last saw Roger Federer in action in Melbourne. What motivated me to make the trip to the tennis city Down Under was the action in the ladies’ division.
The likes of Maria Sharapova, Venus and Serena Williams and Ana Ivanovic were playing and each of them is always a pleasure to watch.
At the conclusion of the championship, I left Australia in awe not just because of the charm of Melbourne but more so because I was able to see first-hand the grace and tact Federer displayed during and after he had won the championship.
The way he conducted himself on and off the court was truly remarkable, he left a lasting impression on me.
And so from that moment on, I officially became a Federer fan.
Watching this year’s Australian Open from the comforts of my home in Manila has been most enjoyable because of the advanced technology in HD viewing and the availability of watching two games at the same time.
I have to admit that I find this to be just as enjoyable as witnessing the matches in Melbourne as you will only be able see one game at a time there.
What’s worth noting, one that really surprised me in this year’s competition, is how the players over 30 years old, especially in the men’s division, have maintained such high level of competition and fitness.
Up until this time, I have always thought that it was only in golf that one could still do well even if he or she is in the 30s.
I considered tennis then as being out of the radar due to the numerous injuries associated with the sport and the intense training the body has to bear.
Perhaps due to the advancement of sports science, trainers and professional coaches can now deal better with body or strength recovery, thus changing the game’s landscape.
The competitive years of a high-performance tennis player has been stretched way past what it had been less than a decade ago.
The amount of experience the more senior tennis players like Federer, Rafael Nadal and the Williams sisters had under their belts played a major factor in their success in this year’s Australian Open.
The highly seasoned thirty-something players certainly have been through it all and they showed their toughness in the tough points or games. They kept their focus and their emotions under control.
I am sure that, having played tough matches and survived crucial moments countless times, the veterans have developed that certain quality of calmness and patience so crucial in tennis, a sport where one can see the scoring pendulum swing from one side to the other very quickly.
There are definitely no shortcuts to gaining experience in every sport.
And with the advancement in training methods and even equipment, it looks like the playing field has now been leveled.