Wimbledon Champs

Roger and Venus

Roger and Venus.  If you don’t play tennis it is hard to really understand the mental toughness that is needed to play the game.  You need no mental anything to hit the ball for 30 minutes with your buddy for college.  On the other hand, if you have been playing your butt of an hour or so and win the first set and lose the second then you understand about mental toughness.  You understand about momentum and the need to forget the last bad shot. 

Roger Federer suffers from not having a good American rival so he will never get his do.  He suffers from the fact that he is almost likable, almost.  I have been watching tennis for over 35 years.  He is clearly one of the best, ever.  He is not Conners or Borg or Sampras or Aggasi.  He’s Roger.  He plays.  He wins.  He moves on. 

Venus suffers from a different problem.  She is plenty likeable  and very noticeable in a sport with 99.9% White folks.  She kinda stands out.  Venus is a better than Serena at tennis.  Serena is a better athlete.  Venus who is taller moves better on the court and should have a more powerful serve.  Serena has that other 25% of tennis that Venus has trouble with – the mental portion.  Venus seems to have trouble forgetting that last bad call or bad shot.  It all begins to build.  Fault.  Double fault.  More badness.  Before you know if she has lost to someone none of us have ever heard of.  Serena seems to have the ability to move on and play the next point. 

For the last 2 weeks, Venus played about as well as I have seen her in years.  Hell, Venus Williams was ranked 31.  (31!!!  31 at Wimbledon that’s crazy.  Venus for the rest of her career should never be ranked less than 10th. )  Venus played like she should.  She was brilliant in decreaing mental errors and decreasing unforced errors

Congratulations to both GREAT champions. 

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.


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