A Love Affair On The Court
Now I can sense you wondering what in heaven’s name is she talking about? Well, this is kind of my “love story” if you can call it that. Well, the hero of this strange “love affair” is one Roger Federer. Yes, the Lord and Master of the tennis world at one time (and still is, in my opinion). And the heroine is, of course, Yours Truly. Now you must be thinking “Oh what a big fat liar this girl is!” But rest assured, I’m not lying! For it is a deeply passionate, enduring affair, one that started when I was 16 years old and HRH Roger Federer was 18.
It was Wimbledon 2001 and the tennis world was in shock. Pete Sampras the then-King of the Grass Courts, was staring down the barrel of an unthinkable defeat in the fourth round. The man on the other side was a precociously talented, cocky teenager named Roger Federer. His moves took one’s breath away. All who witnessed the match knew they were watching the death of the old king and the birth of the new one. I fell in love.
After that match, I seldom missed any of Federer’s matches. Though it took two more years for him to realize his potential and win at Wimbledon, my loyalty and support for him never waned. He was the first “real” person I have had a crush on. My previous crushes have all been fictional romantic heroes like Rhett Butler, Mr. Darcy and Prince Charming. This crush on Roger Federer, though I knew it would never amount to anything seeing as we lived in opposite ends of the world, was quite intense.
Every time he played, I watched with my heart in my mouth. I celebrated each victory with a war cry and countless fist pumps. Each defeat elicited tears and angry curses aimed at his poor opponents. Each article about him was read word for word a countless times till I knew them almost by heart. Each interview was watched and read with the same zeal (sometimes, I think if I had shown even a quarter of this fanatical dedication to my studies, I would be making millions by now, but what can I say, no regrets where HRH Roger Federer is concerned).
This “love affair” continued long into my twenties. I’m almost thirty now and still watch his matches with the same dedication and enthusiasm as ever, though the war cries and angry curses are noticeably absent. He’s also getting older and I know the time would soon come for him to hang up his racquet. The mind realizes all this, but the heart wants what the heart wants, right? I just hope he continues to play as long as he possibly can, as his presence adds beauty and grace to the game.
As the years passed, I have had several other crushes, some on real-life sportspersons like Brett Lee, MS Dhoni, David Beckham, Christiano Ronaldo, Usain Bolt and Cadel Evans, and some on fictional heroes like Dirk Pitt, Jack Ryan, Christian Grey and Michael Corleone (The Godfather), none were as intense as the crush I had (and still have, to some degree) on Roger Federer; the crush which developed when I was a teenager and continued into much of my adult life. Even the real-life romantic relationship I was involved in for about a year did not have the intensity of my first crush.
Godspeed Mr. Federer and thank you for making me feel the way I did, though you were never aware of my existence!!!