Australian Open 2012 Final match was an epic. In a 6 hour give-it-all five set battle, Novak Djokovic won. He played lights out tennis with absolute conviction and precision.
For me, this match was yet another inspirational nugget from Rafael Nadal – The guy is a philosopher and has the best work ethic in the whole wide world.
Rafa was a part of a 6 hour final in the Australian Open against Novak Djokovic which he lost. Novak won again in a match which was a display of supreme relentlessness from both sides. One would think that a player who loses in the end would be crushed and dejected. What Rafa said instead was that he was happy to have been part of a historical match and that he was glad to have fought the way that he did. That he enjoyed being there, fighting, suffering. That he enjoyed the suffering. That is a true sportsperson.
Make no mistake, Rafa is never happy with the second spot. He likes to win more than anything. But, he can appreciate the fact that life sometimes does not happen as one wishes. Despite your best efforts, there is someone who makes a better effort and it pays. That you can try all you got and still fall short. That you can suffer without rewards. Nowhere is this more nakedly visible than in Tennis, where you try for all to see and then lose in the end.
And at the end of it, if you can feel satisfied and be able to say that you have enjoyed the suffering, that you accept what comes in the way after you have tried and given all, that you accept that there has to be a loser and it was you this time, that you accept that it’s someone else’s chance, that you accept that you could have done nothing more than fight and that you enjoyed the struggle is to say that you have the highest character and sportsmanship. That is what Rafael Nadal has.
He has guts, he has talents, he has the will but best of all, he has character to be gracious in defeat and humble in victory. He shows by his way what it means to have a work ethic, what it means to work for passion, what it means to enjoy the struggle – a case in point for ‘Karm Kar! Fal ki iccha mat kar’. I won’t say that he does not care for the fruits of his labor. He does. But, he has the wisdom to accept that sometimes things come to fruition and sometimes they don’t despite your best efforts.
He shows how to live! At least to me! He shows how to go for broke!! People see all the effort and they say he does not earn as much in return, that he loses. But he, he who strives knows the joy of striving, of trying, of improving. Vamos!! Way to go!!
He may have lost this match, but he has regained hope and confidence. Next time, he will win! I know it! He knows it. But he will not take it for granted, he will strive and enjoy striving!