Congratulations Novak Djokovic and nolefam 🙂
The following article was written by me for the website http://www.sportskeeda.com . The following is the link to the original article : http://www.sportskeeda.com/tennis/feel-the-championships-wimbledon
I have never been to Centre Court at Wimbledon. I have never experienced that special feeling but from what I have seen and heard all these years, this is what I believe Wimbledon feels like from a player’s perspective.
I am sitting in my locker room, trying not to think about the match but my mind is no longer under my control. My opponent is in the locker room with me. At Wimbledon, opponents share the same locker room before any match. No, we are not talking to each other right now. Wait a minute. We are actually talking to each other. We are fighting with each other. Mentally. In my mind I just hit a great passing shot. In his mind, he just lobbed me, making me look like a fool. The match has begun even before we walk out onto the court…
I was about to beat him, in my mind, just when the official walked in. “It is time, gentlemen”, he said with a smile. I can tell from his demeanour, he is as excited as the crowd at Centre court. My opponent walks out of the room. I follow him, maintaining a comfortable distance between us. I don’t want any distractions right now so I keep staring at my opponent’s shoes as we walk towards the battlefield.
A few people who work here are standing in the hallway. I can see from the corner of my eye, they are watching me. They are smiling at me. They want to wish me luck but my mind politely refuses their proposals. My mind and my body are in a different world right now. Just as we reach the gates to the entrance of Centre court, my eyes look up automatically. They want to capture something for my mind to process during the match. What is it ? I read it. Its written on the wall of this historic place,” If you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two impostors just the same “. No time to decipher it, it is time for showdown.
My opponent is greeted with a loud applause as he walks out onto the court first. Then I make my way to the court. I don’t know if I was treated with a greater applause or a smaller one. Why? My heart is beating so fast, I cannot hear anything.
Normally, the first thing I do when I walk out onto the court is look for my team in the stands. This makes me feel at home. This place is different. This place feels like home. I take my seat, and open the bag for my weapons with which I will fire today. I will fire forehand winners, backhand winners, aces and what not. As soon as I take out my racquet, something just appears in front of my face…
It is my seven-year old self, sitting in the corner of the court, waiting for my coach and other players to come. I always reach early. I have to wait for others all the time so it’s no use coming early but something inside just pushes me. As I sit in the corner, holding the racquet in my hand, I am caught up in a day-dream. I am thinking about how it must feel to be on the Centre court of Wimbledon…
17 years later, as I sit here at the bench of the infamous Centre court of Wimbledon, I feel emotional. But this is no time to be thinking about my seven-year old self. I force these thoughts out of my mind. Oh, my mind. It actually accepted one my commands. Good. A small positive before the match begins.
I stand up, take a small sip of water, more out of habit than need. I close the cap of the bottle, adjust my wrist band, give a glance to my team and then walk out into the centre of the Centre court. I am all set.