It was so refreshing to see the simple celebration of Elena Rybakina when she won the ladies singles final at Wimbledon. All she did was close her fist and shake it slightly as she walked to the net to receive a hug from Ons Jabeur, her disconsolate opponent. Seeing that muted celebration one could have been forgiven for thinking that this was her umpteenth major title when in fact it was her first one.
Novak Djokovic also has a very nice way of acknowledging the crowd after his match. He looks up at the skies as if asking God for blessings from above, and then transfers the blessings to the crowd on all four sides. Most winners hit the ball into the crowd and whoever catches it can keep it as a memento. At the US Open, those who catch the ball hit by the winner of the game get an Emirates ticket to their preferred destination. It is a nice way of getting additional publicity for the sponsorship. The loser, of course, generally leaves the court immediately after the match. It must be galling to see the celebrations of the winner.
The All England Tennis Club has its own rules where players can only wear white. So when the eternal rebel Nick Kyrgios sported a red cap and coloured shoes after completing his match, the British media went berserk.
Kyrgios’ argument could be that he was wearing all white while playing and once the match was over he could wear whatever he chose to wear. Now that he has lasted a full fortnight of a major for the first time in singles, he will have enjoyed it so much that he would want to do it again.
There is not the slightest doubt about his talent, which is unique, but his temperament has let him down. To see him have a go at those who were sitting in his box whenever he lost a point may have been amusing at first, but after some time, it became annoying. How could his family be held responsible for the errors he was making? The good old coaches always advise to respect the game, whichever sport it may be, because the game will go on while players will come and go. If Kyrgios remembers that, he could do real justice to his unique talent.
Respecting the game is very important as it helps you appreciate what the game does for you. It gives the player a better perspective of the legacy he has got and one he can leave behind when he finishes with the game.
This is so true of cricket as well as many seem to forget what the game has done for them.