When I first heard about the clash between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal I was teleported to my childhood to a memory which still defines my love for the game. The persona and class with which Federer carried himself to the game in his early days resonated within the young teenagers like me. He was fighting with the greats or probably the greatest of the time and with every victory, he was inspiring millions around the world and demolishing the invincible tag associated with those legends. The entry of Rafael Nadal changed the equations for better. As an arrogant fan, I was taken aback when Federer’s Greatest Ever tag was being tarnished with every battle fought between the champs. Still, my love for Federer grew with his every victory and defeat and my hatred for Nadal turned into admiration. In the process, I somewhere convinced myself that “If I am watching Federer play or even keeping a track of the game “He” will lose”. In last 7 years, I have seen a couple of his matches and kept a track of few. He LOST all of them. My resolve that I am a bad luck for him grew stronger.
On the 27th January, I came across the news that the history was repeating itself with William Sisters on Saturday Final and probably the Greatest Ever Men’s Final will be played on Sunday. My instant reaction was that I will keep myself busy on Sunday so busy that I do not even remember about the greatest match. On the fateful Sunday Morning, I saw a Facebook Post of my friend who was there to witness the saga along with his wife. “Oh God !! what did I do”. I cursed myself for forgetting about the match. I said sorry to you a hundred times in my head and searched for your forgiveness but there was none to be found. I kept my phone aside and made myself busy and trying hard not to remember and yes I did succeed. It was the news notification of your victory that brought me to senses and then took them away in an instant. I was smiling like a crazy man who got the best news of his life and yes indeed it was “It was the news I had waited for nearly 5 years”. Since then I have seen your reaction a few hundred times. That pure display of raw emotions confirmed my belief that even you have a child in you that drives your emotions. Those tears were proof of how much you wanted it to happen. It was your love for the game that drove you to the pinnacle of the World of Tennis. For many, it was a “Dream Finale”, “Fan Fantasy Finale” and what not, but for me, it was “Fight of the phoenixes “. Those two phoenixes rose not from the ashes but their burnt careers which were nearly over after the series of injuries. They both went back to the cradle to learn and practice again, similar to a youngling and then they burnt the entire world. This final was not just about Dreams, it was about hope, courage, grit, compassion and friendship. Thank you, Roger, for winning it, your win gives me strength to fight on, desire to crave for it like a child, and fire to fight it till the end. I don’t know if my jinx has been lifted up or you forgave me but I will not test my luck and I will still not track your matches.