I appreciate the talents of all athletes, and let’s face it, as fans many of us live vicariously through them; it may explain why we are drawn to sports in the first place. I respect the hard work that they put in to accomplish success. However, it is natural to expect them to perform at the highest level at all times. This is totally unrealistic, as there will be days when nothing or just about everything goes wrong.
It is one thing to be blessed with so much talent, but it takes more than talent to be a champion. If you are not playing to win, why are you playing?
Winning is not everything; however, doing the best that you can should be synonymous with winning, especially when you are a gifted athlete. In a profession where you achieve recognition and financial success by winning, you would expect the athletes to always want to win. Watching the match between [CR3] Roger Federer (SUI) and [CR24] Gael Monfils (FRA), I had two persistent questions: When is Monfils going to self-destruct? When is Federer going to raise the level of his play to take the victory?
If there was any possibility of Monfils winning this match, he had to do so in straight sets. He essentially lost the match when he lost the third set. His two match points proved a brief respite in the fourth set; however, it was just a delay of the inevitable. Champions find a way to win and they never quit. That is what makes Federer great, that is what makes most champions great, a single-minded desire to win. Even when they lose, you know that they left everything on the court.