Not to stick exclusively to one sport, but Roger Federer – now inarguably the best in the history of his sport – has taught us a more traditional brand of professional perseverance. He hasn’t had the obstacles in his personal life that the Williams sisters have faced – at least not that have been made public – and by all accounts seems to lead a fairly charmed existence.
That said, however, he’s also come back from injury and poor (for him) performance in a way few athletes ever had. The mid-30s are essentially retirement age for tennis players, and in the fall of 2016 Federer might have had to face that as a real possibility. He hadn’t won a Grand Slam tournament in four years; he no longer seemed to have the condition to win longer matches against top opponents; and on top of it all, he had knee surgery and cancelled the remainder of his season.
If not the end, it looked like the beginning of the end for the Swiss champion. Then 2017 arrived. Federer stormed back from injury, won the Australian Open, and asserted himself once more as one of the best men on tour. Every sports fan that there is, must have cheered for him – given what he conquered on court that day. He became the epitome of what one could end up doing – with enough will power, discipline and love for what one does; with the courage to persevere.
Now 36, he’s being referred to as a hot favorite at the U.S. Open. It’s been a truly remarkable comeback, and a reminder to us all never to give up too soon. Such stories of perseverance – are the ones that often life so endearing.
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