Monday, 6 July 2009

Love 15 - The Importance of Persistence and Self-Belief for Goal Achievement

Roger Federer, with his Wimbledon win yesterday, has now surpassed Pete Sampras' achievement of winning 14 Grand Slam titles. By claiming his sixth Wimblon championship he has also equalled the number of times Pete Sampras won the men's singles title, reclaimed his No 1 World Ranking and is now being hailed as the world's greatest tennis player of all time.

That's no small achievement and it hasn't always been easy. When interviewed after his epic match with Andy Roddick, which lasted 4 hours and 16 minutes and consisted of a total of 77 games, he admitted how painful it was to lose to Rafael Nadal last year. The latter was another epic battle lasting 4 hours and 48 minutes and consisting of 62 games.

Afterwards Federer said:

"The rain didn't make it easier but you have to expect the worst and he's the worst opponent on the best court. It's a pity I couldn't win it but I'll be back next year."

And, while it hasn't been all smooth sailing for Federer this year when he arrived at Wimbledon you could see he was ready for battle. It wasn't just the gold trimmed military-styled apparel. His body was more chiselled and he appeared relaxed and confident. He looked like a man who had re-built himself from the inside out.

The experts will agree that Federer didn't play his best tennis yesterday and Andy Roddick certainly diddn't make it easy for him. The match swayed back and forth but Federer held on. Defeat is never easy but so often our greatest achievements follow our greatest defeats. When Federer lost to Nadal last year the defeat also ended his winning streak on grass - a total of 65 matches.

You have to have the courage to stare defeat in the face and persevere striving towards your dreams and your goals. You have to be prepared to fight long and hard for your what you desire. To be successful in doing this you have to have enormous self-belief and you also have to have a deep-seated passion or love for what you do. It is this passion that will help carry you through the rough times.

Serena Williams, the most successful women's tennis player of her era can certainly attest to this. She defeated her sister Venus Williams 24 hours before Federer to win her third Wimbledon title (7-6 (7-3) 6-2).

Although there have been reports of the sisters moving on to pursue other interests they both insist they have a deep love for the tennis and will not be quitting the sport any time soon.

And John McEnroe made a very interesting and telling observation about Serena Williams and her own epic battle to win the semi-final match against Elena Dementieva. The Russian certainly pushed Serena to her limits and he said that even when on paper it looked as though she was losing the match Serena Williams had an air of confidence about her.

He said she radiated self-belief as though she knew not that she could but that she would bounce back and be victorious. And what was more telling he said it appeared as though the Russian believed it. She finally succumbed 6-7, 7-5, 8-6. Self-belief is powerful.

Serena has the attitude of a champion:

"I've got to fight. If I'm going to go down, I'm going to go down screaming and kicking."

Serena Williams has 22 Grand Slam titles to her name - awesome! The difference however, between her accomplishments and that of Federer - is that Serena Williams Grand Slam title consist of singles and doubles titles (11 singles, 9 doubles and 2 mixed doubles); Federer has won all his Grand Slams as a singles player.

Despite his achievements Roger Federer remains incredibly humble and very gracious and these qualities endear him to fans across the world. However, despite his awesome achievement what shines through is his sheer love for the game and this is essentially why he plays tennis and this is what has enabled him to become great. Love 15.

Image compliments Business Wire

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