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No looking vak

WRECKORDER - FGS Gujilde (The Freeman) - June 17, 2021 - 12:00am

Five minutes before he walked on center court of Roland Garros for his inaugural slam finals, Stefanos Tsitsipas knew his grandmother died. Whoever told him must be very excited to break bad news to a player about to date history. Family most likely. Or a friend who feels family. Be circumspect, telling sensitive information like death of a private person should come from family. Exactly why there is obituary.

Or it could be social media leak. It does not discern proper timing. It is only obsessed with news breaking. Be the first to tell all and sundry for spotlight monopoly. It’s not about the story but the storyteller. Or peddler. What could be the difference between five minutes before match and after, resurrection? Even the dear departed granny would have wanted her parting withheld until championship point is decided.

There must be compelling reason for telling a story unsettling at the worst timing. It may be religious or cultural. Some cultures do not mourn but celebrate death believed transitory to a better place. Maybe. But Stefanos did not party and does not intend to throw any. He lost a dear grandmother to eternity and the match that could have started his tennis supremacy.

Of course it was a test of his mental toughness, the stuff champions are made of. But it’s his grandmother he adored all his life. Such a cruel test. Heckle him for a lousy shot or unsportsmanlike conduct and see if he stays in the zone, but never tell his grandmother is gone. Although it could have worked either way, depending on how Stefanos handles the news. He could motivate himself to win the match for her. In five minutes? Emotions have no buttons to switch off and on. Never tell a person battling depression to stay out of the dark at once. They need time to discern what is bright about life.

Stefanos suppressed his grief. He in fact won the first two sets. Virtually irreversible, except when the other guy across the net is Novak Djokovic who mastered the art of moving on. Take cue dumpees, so you can have peace.

Two sets lost belong to history. Novak stays in the present, never looks back, on to the next point. Now he is just a slam shy of the Fedal tie, but rewrote history elsewhere as the first man in the open era to win all slams at least twice. Even with plenty twenty apiece, Roger Federer was lucky to win one title in clay, and down under Rafael Nadal won solitary crown.

The younger Novak is still counting while Federer is to age conceding and Nadal is balding. After mud is grass. If Fedal bromance don’t play vintage, and younger players don’t play beyond their age, Rafa and Roger have to welcome an uninvited third party to the all time major duopoly. Novak has the habit of gatecrashing and crushing. But who is the greatest needs another test.

ROLAND GARROS
Philstar
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