Roger Federer, King of Grass, continues to inspire generations with his class

Manushree Bhardwaj

Roger Federer’s eighth Wimbledon win has made me believe; believe in hard work, passion and a ‘never-give-up’ attitude. At 35, his magical wand has woven magic again. This is his fairytale. Perhaps, his best one.

In 2012, at All England’s Club, Federer equaled Pete Sampras’ record of winning seven Wimbledon titles. There was a lull in his glittering trophy collection after that. With next four years without a major title, and age catching up, critics had started writing him off. With the emergence of new grand slam champions, Federer’s time was gone, they said.

It was at this moment that the talks of his retirement started doing rounds. But the Swiss maestro was in no mood to stop. In 2016, after his semi-final exit from Wimbledon, he was gone for half the tennis season. It was a major blow to his fans considering his massive popularity across the globe. They dreaded his retirement. But the wait for his comeback continued.

Then came 2017. And lo! With the first major of the year, it seemed time had turned back. At the Australian Open, he faced arch nemesis Rafael Nadal in finals. Their age-old rivalry was revived. The fans had almost lost the hope of seeing a Rafa-Roger final in a grand slam. But here they were defying all logic, standing strong at a major final. Roger went on to defeat Nadal in five sets, becoming the first male player to win at least five titles at three Majors.

The year has been phenomenal for Federer. And his fans. This doesn’t seem like 2017. His Australian Open win added an 18th major to his magnificent 17. Then there were wins at Indian and Miami Masters. His grass court season began with a win at Halle. His fans were ecstatic. Federer was on a roll!

And then came Wimbledon. He defeated Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 in the finals without dropping a set in the whole tournament! Roger took little more than an hour and forty-one minutes to win his eighth Wimbledon title, fourteen years after his first one. Though Cilic was injured, that doesn’t take anything away from the Swiss maestro’s success in London.

Roger has re-written record books, not that he hadn’t previously done so. Adding to his list of already impressive records, with this recent win, he has become the first man since Bjorn Borg in 1976 to win the coveted title without dropping a set. The Swiss marvel also became the oldest Wimbledon men’s champion of the modern era. Thus proving - age is just a number for him.

With his wife and four adorable kids, watching from the stands, tears rolled down Federer's eyes after his win in London. The hard work behind this win had paid off. This is what dreams are made up of.

Whether he decides to retire now, or play for years to come, this is a sportsman whose story will encourage generations to come.

Thank you Roger. Thank you for being so inspirational, passionate and proving to the world belief is everything! Thank you for being a legend. Tennis feels like tennis again.


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