Novak Djokovic continues to stretch the boundaries of what is possible.He just won his maiden French Open completing the Career Slam. When people told him that it wasn’t in the cards for him to be great, he decided to make his own deck. It was a raw love for the game with a ruthless disregard for the impossible.
In life we know how we are supposed to feel if certain monumental things happen. However, when they actually do happen, prediction does not often match reality. Moments ago, my favorite athlete and role model, Novak Djokovic just won his maiden French Open completing the Career Slam. The missing jewel to his illustrious athletic CV. Every year, for the past 10, I have always gotten fired up as decisive matches have unfortunately slipped away from the veteran’s grasp. Today, when Andy Murray aggressive style seized the first-set, I once again began to experience the emotions of a decade. However, as Djokovic won the last, grueling point of the final. I just didn’t know how to feel.
I was speechless. I was immobile. I was blank.
My friends often tell me that my personality displays a clear duality where I am extremely fun-loving amongst people close to me but dead-focused when it comes to my aspirations. For the first half of my life – this was not the case.
As the only child of immigrants who struggled to come to this great country, I barely had any dreams as a kid. Even though I believe that we all want to make our mark on the world, I just never truly believed I could. I figured that big dreams were reserved for the predestined – the faster people, the stronger people, the smarter people. During my first experiences of failure, I sorrowfully deduced that major victories were just not in the cards for me.
Watching Novak Djokovic play tennis for so long changed me. At first, I was just a fan of his game. Inadvertently, I found a role model who I wished to emulate in all aspects of my life. People scoffed at the idea that a kid from a war-torn country could evolve into one of the best of all time – especially in an era with tennis giants like Federer and Nadal.
However, when people told Novak Djokovic that it wasn’t in the cards for him to be great, he decided to make his own deck. It was a raw love for the game with a ruthless disregard for the impossible.
Watching Novak Djokovic grow as a person over the years, along with all the emotions he brings to the game of tennis, consistently gives me the confidence to dream big and persevere with the same intensity. Although our paths are different, I believe what we both fundamentally want the same thing. At the end of the day, both Novak and I love people, and with our diligent efforts, we hope that the world will love us the same way we love people.
Thank You Novak.