Rafa beat Roger. Oh, well. I wished for a different outcome, but one of the things I love about tennis is that it is a game played between the lines. Conflict happens within prescribed boundaries, and is resolved. The score of the match is noted, but once the match is over, players are no longer defined by their opponent.
Or one hopes. I think that one of the reasons that I find both Federer and Nadal attractive as guys – as guys distinct from their lives as professional tennis players (to the extent I know much about their lives off the court which is, truthfully, not much) – is that their identity is not defined by an “opposition mentality” but by gratitude for opportunities they have been afforded.
Sure they have intentionally crafted their public images to some extent. But one senses some personal integrity behind the headlines.
To pick up on a thought from yesterday’s post, neither Federer nor Nadal appear to be channelling hate as a source of energy. Their competitive fire as tennis players seems to be stoked by their relationship to the game of tennis, while their off-court lives seem to be motivated by healthy relationships with all sorts of people.
Golly, gee-whiz, they’re just like the rest of us – or do seem to be.