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Sometimes in life, we don’t end up getting what we deserve (or what we think we deserve). We try to blame it on external factors - the conditions, the opportunities and other people. But sometimes (only sometimes), we’re so focused on ourselves that we fail to see the big picture (the truth) - that someone deserved it better. Sport captures these moments beautifully and uniquely and it is even more exaggerated in an individual sport like Tennis. June 07 2015 was one such day.

Going into the 2015 Roland Garros, everyone thought Novak Djokovic deserved to win this tournament and complete the career slam (winning all the 4 Slams) that he desperately wanted. Why not - not only had he lost only 2 matches this year so far but also he had dominated the matches against the other Big 3 (Roger Federer in Rome Finals, Rafael Nadal in Monte Carlo Semi-Finals and Andy Murray in Indian Wells Semi Finals).

Yet, he lost.

Djokovic might spend some sleepless nights trying to find out which moments he could have played better - the 10th game (that he lost) in the 2nd set after being up 30-0, letting go of the early advantage in the fourth set at 3-0 and most importantly missing out on three break points at 3-4 0-40 to serve for the fourth and force a fifth. There is a famous English proverb that summarizes this situation -

For want of a nail the shoe was lost;
For want of a shoe the horse was lost;
For want of a horse the rider was lost;
For want of a rider the message was lost;
For want of a message the battle was lost;
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost;
And all for the want of a nail.

At the end of a hard-fought battle, it is hard to reason why we lost and even if we do, it is even more tough to accept and convince ourselves. Probably, the best solution is to accept defeat and that the opponent deserved to win and this is exactly what Novak did -

“Obviously it was not easy to stand there as a runner‑up again, but I lost to a better player who played some courageous tennis and deserved to win.”

And for inspiration, he doesn’t have to look further than Stan’s tattoo - Ever tried. Ever fail. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

But will he win the Career Slam? I think this is just a postponement and he would go on to win the Career Slam that he deserves. But, In Sport you never know!

Kaushik Rangadurai

Code. Learn. Explore

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