For tennis enthusiasts – whether a professional player, amateur, or just an aficionado – the US Open is one of the most awaited events. Fans from across the globe fly in to experience a week of awe-inspiring athleticism. There’s incredible tension in the air, with coveted laurels to be earned and the whole world watching every move.
This is a once-in-a-year chance to see greatness in action, and there’s a lot of pointers you can take from the stars. In the sports world, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic are viewed as the US Open top players, each holding records that are legendary. Here are a few life lessons you can learn from each of these sportsmen.
Roger Federer – A force to reckon with
The 2016 edition of Wimbledon created a stir for many reasons, one of them being the seeming career end of living legend Roger Federer. With an injured knee in the semi-final, he took nearly a year to recover. One of the older players in the sport, many thought that the ‘FedEx’ story had ended. But there he was a year later, at Wimbledon 2017, earning his 19th Grand Slam. Federer currently holds the world record with 20 Grand Slams.
This resurgence may well be an indicator of what makes Roger Federer such a threat. He is an incredibly patient player. Even when the odds are stacked against him, he comes out on top with elegance because he firmly believes in his own skill and plays the long game. The 2019 US Open saw him give the game his best in the thrilling quarter-final against Dimitrov. While fans may not be able to watch the star play for the finals, he is held in high regard for his trait to never give up or let the stress of the situation get to him. Federer picks his battles well; he knows that to win the war, one may have to lose a few skirmishes.
Federer’s US Open history shows that he may not appear to be an aggressor. But he’s shown that having a clear head and exuding calmness can be more effective weapons to have in one’s arsenal.
Rafael Nadal – A powerhouse of performance
Rafael Nadal is a treat to watch. The man is an athlete in every sense of the word, and his indomitable energy and spirit have been inspiring fans for years. Here’s a quote from the man that sums up his game-play perfectly, “I don’t go to practice every day to practice. I go to practice to learn something.”
Nadal treats his sport like an ever-evolving concept, where there is always scope for improvement. He loves his game, and his passion is something that shines through every match. For the past two years, until Novak Djokovic became the top seed, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer fought back and forth in a fierce competition to be the world’s best. The only thing that could possibly counter Federer’s persistence is Nadal’s intense passion for what he does.
Novak Djokovic – A Calculative Player
The youngest of the three, Novak Djokovic exploded onto the tennis scene with alacrity and strategy that caught everyone off guard. He was in the third spot in the rankings for four years; the longest anyone has ever been in that position. Both Nadal and Federer beat him multiple times. But that never stopped him from believing that he had the talent to win against these legends. And finally, he proved it.
One of the top tennis players in the world, he is a living and breathing reminder that one’s game can always get better. In any professional sphere, hitting a rut isn’t the worst thing that can happen. The worst thing is to believe there’s no way out. Novak Djokovic never once stopped strategising and working at improving his game. This constant evaluation of his own skills and the critical analysis required to improve on them is why he’s the best tennis player in the world today.
With Federer’s exit and Djokovic retiring due to an injury, Nadal stands as a favourite to compete for the trophy in the US Open 2019. Irrespective of who lifts the trophy after the finals, what remains constant is the brilliant game play each of these stars bring to the court. The sheer determination shown by these top players in tennis is something we all can learn from. Whether it’s Federer’s cool head, Nadal’s passion, or Djokovic’s determination, the secret to success in any profession is sheer willpower, belief in oneself, and a thirst to be the best.