(photo credit: Andrew Medichin/APi)
Watching Roger Federer train for his first round match at Roland Garros on Sunday left me feeling many things, including a mild case of back pain.
Hundreds, almost thousands, of tennis fans flocked to Court 18 in the early afternoon to watch Federer train with Juan Carlos Ferrero rather than attending one of the many matches which were being played at the other outside courts.
Any hope of catching a glimpse of the Swiss master applying his trade
required the onlookers to do their best contortionist impression,
leaving many, including yours truly, with aches and pains.
However, the herds cramming every open space beside the small court
couldn’t care less about the inevitable soreness.
After all, that was a small price to pay to watch their idol first hand,
seeing with their own eyes the reason Federer has become such a fan
While no one was surprised with the meticulous fashion with which the
world number 1 prepares for matches, almost all were very impressed to
see the sheer joy Federer got from simply hitting the ball in training.
Some players may play the game to bring financial relief to their
families, while others have their mind set on fame and glory.
For Federer, such things are almost insignificant. He plays with the
enthusiasm of a beginner, enjoying everything about the sport.
Tennis has always been and, always will be, simply a game for Federer.
Not a profession and not a way to make ends meet, just a game.
His infectious enthusiasm for the sport is what makes him so compelling.
Grand Slam final or ordinary training session, Federer will always
remain his sport’s biggest draw, for he loves the game as much as the
fans and they know it.