Sports sometimes creates stories that seem so perfect. The second Sunday of the 2012 Wimbledon Championships marked Federer’s return as a Grand Slam champion, one that had eluded him for more than two years and a reclaim to the No.1 position in the ATP rankings. Besides being a personal triumph, this day also witnessed a rewriting of history as with this title Federer now equalled Pete Sampras’ record of winning the most Wimbledon titles (7 in all) and being No. 1 for the maximum number of weeks (286 weeks). It all seems so perfect, creating a story as if it was meant to be and was destined to happen, all because he hadn’t won a Slam in a long time and now he was due. It makes you feel that Federer was a mere player in the Grand scheme of things for whom things were prewritten and he just had to be there to be carried over by the wave. But then, beneath this beautiful story lies the resilience of that same player who made it all happen. It is this remarkable character that makes Roger Federer the legend that he is. Both in 2009 and now in 2012, when the critics had all written off Federer, when they thought he was spent and would never win another Slam, Federer defied everything to prove everyone wrong. Back in 2009, he came back stronger and won both the French and the Wimbledon back to back, and the Austrailian Open in early 2010. This is nothing but resilience to come back stronger after tough losses. Two years on, he was again questioned by everybody, looked upon with doubt and no longer considered a serious contender for any Slam, all this even though he consistently reached the Semifinals of almost all majors. Instead, he was asked if he was considering retirement, if his 30 year old body was finding it difficult to recover from long matches and if he still had the motivation to win another Slam. Well, looks like everybody concerned got the most fitting reply possible. He won his 17th Grand Slam (beating the defending champion and world No. 1, Novak Djokovic on the way) and secured the No. 1 spot just a month short of turning 31. What a way to come back!
Somehow, that poker face Federer keeps during his matches never even gives a glimpse of all the fight he puts in. It is as if he is going through the motions, almost detached. But, once the match ends, we see how much he really wanted it and what a fight he put in all of two weeks to get what he wanted. This was evident after both his semifinal and final wins. Kudos to Federer for never giving up, for being resilient throughout even in the face of so many detractors. Hope he continues for as long as he feels motivated and keeps giving all his fans treats such as this.
-A Fed fan