It has been that time of year again, with the world’s finest tennis players wielding their racquets in a leafy suburb of south London.
But aside from being one of the world’s great sporting events, Wimbledon is so much more than just a tennis tournament.
It is a showcase of how a human being can respond to pressure, adversity, despair, disappointment or joy on their way to defeat or victory. As the Kipling quote so clearly displayed in the All England Club says: “If you can meet with Triumph or Disaster, and treat those two imposters just the same”.
Life IS a bit like a tennis match. You can be two sets up and then lose, or two sets down and then win.
The successful players who find themselves two sets down don’t get down on themselves, moan or slink around in a sulk. They get themselves going again, think positive and knuckle down to turn the match around, and many times they do. There’s a life lesson there, I’m sure of it.
And champions know how to play the big points in a match. They don’t wait for their opponent to make a mistake; they make it happen. They also find a way to win even if they aren’t playing their best.
The Swiss tennis star Stan Wawrinka has a tattoo on his left arm that bears some wise words of Samuel Beckett: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better”.
And I think the golden rules of tennis can easily apply to life: Firstly, keep your eye on the ball; and secondly, the game is never over until the last ball is played.