Freeman Cebu Sports


WRECKORDER - Ferdinand G.S. Gujilde - The Freeman

Rewritten, is the personal history of Carlos Alcaraz in tennis after he won the French Open for the first time. His message is clear, a Spaniard holds a mud slam trophy other than the king of clay crowned 14 times.

But for Carlos, he just started. And counting. It is his third major, after the US Open and Wimbledon. In the process, he also rewrote tennis history as the youngest male player to win a slam on all three surfaces. Versatility. He won them earlier than any one in the trivalry of yesterday.

Today only Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are left. Soon they will leave the sport before it leaves them. Unlike husband and wife denied by law and religion the option to leave in order to live. Antiquated. Isolated. But now there is hope for both the hopeless and the hopeful. Especially the woeful.

Although in tennis no great rivalry is in sight. But Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner incite and excite. While Jannik lost to Carlos in the semis, he ended up ranked world number one. But that is only on paper. It is just a number. A mere scrap of paper even, like the arbitral award the awardee refuses to invoke, much less enforce.

Or maybe Daniil Medvedev can join the fray to make another trivalry. He owns one slam. Or Stefanos Tsitsipas. He almost did. Alexander Zverev too. But right now he must be distraught, how many more times should he lose the final before he wins his first major? No one knows for sure. He is the best man not to have won a slam. Only because another played better when it mattered most.

Last Sunday it was the Spaniard who stood in the way. Zverev must have smelled sweet victory just a set away. But Alcaraz saw an opening and pounced to win the last two sets. Decisively. Not even close.

Always humble, Alcaraz largely attributes his success to his ability to savor suffering through long rallies and 4-hour matches that extend to five sets. Unwittingly, Carlos paraphrased the eternal words of Billie Jean King the queen. Plagiarism is one thing, parallelism is another. The tennis great and pioneer once said pressure is a privilege. It brings out the best in you. Or the worst. The toughest conditions reveal the roughest persons. Like how a man of cloth treats a bride walking down the aisle late.

Under pressure many crack, especially the privileged averse to inconvenience. Others rock, especially the destitute numbed to survival. Or battle tested champions, not only in sports but also in life. Without reference to Filipinos. They are losing both, surviving only on resilience buoyed by entertainment. Suffering just the same. But smiling. Laughing even. Who takes them seriously then?

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