Game. Set. Match.
Tennis. A sport that is close to my heart. It’s a sport of multiple dimensions… its about skill and strategy coupled together with mental and physical strength. One may say these factors are common with several other sports but for me its about belief and inspiration.
I come from a family with a very old history with the game of tennis spanning over several generations. I remember seeing my dad and his brother playing tennis when i was very young. Although young, even as a child I could sense their passion for the game whenever I saw them play. My grand-dad, although I never really saw him playing a game, I believe, was beautiful to watch on the court.
I started to play the sport when I was around sever or eight. This is how the story of the great tennis players begin. but its Ironically different in my case simply because even with all the passion running through my family for this game, I somehow tried but never really got into playing the game with all my heart. The reason for this..? I have absolutely no clue. It still bothers me sometimes what made me stay away from the game for so long..
I was around 16 when I started taking interest in the game again and around the time i turned 18, I started to train for the sport because it felt like, outta nowhere, there was this huge passion for the sport oozing through me. Perhaps all that had stayed dormant for several years… But there is a reason why most professional players started to play very early in their lives because as you get older you get more responsibilities and for the time i was 18-19, I had to concentrate on my career direction into the visual effects industry. A decision which I made over giving the sport of tennis a shot as a career. It was mainly based on the comparison of how many years i had dedicated to aiming towards this industry over the game of tennis.
I think the love for the sport was reignited at the time of Roger Federer. An inspirational example for any tennis fan. A person who re-invented the idea of the game through his uncomparable and godly style and skill that he brought to the game.
An ironic and interesting anecdote that i recall is that of going to Wimbledon in the summer of 2005 to watch my heroes battle it on court. I got to see the likes of several great players including Federer who went on to win that tournament. So with an all area access pass, thanks to my cousin and relatives in England, I got to visit several court areas and matches. One such match was that of Venus Williams. Although she is an amazing player, she is one of the few that dont attract me or excite me as much. But on the insistence of my friends, we sat in during her match.
All throughout that day (after standing in the line for over 3 hours to enter the park, mind you!) I was hoping that maybe I get lucky and Federer or some other player mis-hits the ball straight to me, So i can keep it as a souvenir which would be priceless. Having that idea in mind. Venus Williams mis-cued a shot and the ball came and landed right in between my friend and my seat. My friend told me to keep the ball. The funny thing about this was that although I had hoped for something like this all day, that, when it did happen, I had no reaction. Probably because, in my head, I was thinking that “Aahh.. Why Venus Williams..! I don’t even like her that much” but I still kept it as it was something special to possess a match ball.
Now you wonder what the irony in this story really is..? Well the irony is that, Venus Williams, hit it towards me during a GrandSlam tournament. Someone who, as i mentioned earlier, is not someone I really admire and because of that I felt that I was not as excited about getting that ball. But it did become special, in a funny way. This, because later that week Venus Williams went on to win the Women’s Single Wimbledon Championship. This made me value that ball so much more. Ha Ha, talk about the petty joys of life. This was just that.
But all in all, I have a strong burning passion for the game. One, which makes me take part in tournaments only to meet highly skilled proffessionals that knock me out of the competition. But its not about that. Its about trying to get better at what I love doing. It’s art. Its beautiful. It is like being a poet and when you swing that racket, its creates poetry. That feeling is indescribable.