We all know Roger Federer’s sporting skill is the stuff of legend – he proves the fact repeatedly with every new performance, and especially so in a 2017 season that began with him winning the year’s first Major.
Both on and off the court, the Swiss is the picture of perfection – and here’s why:
Is he human, or supernatural?
We, as humans, may worship god(s) – or not believe in them at all, but once in a while there are people who may assert our belief in them – or become supernatural beings themselves.
Roger Federer, until 2012, showed no proof that he was human, just divine.
We long for heroes with a hint of shortcomings; this was the divine ponytail who never failed unlike Baggio who won our hearts when he showed he was human by missing the penalty in the 1994 FIFA World Cup.
Aside from Sachin ‘God’ Tendulkar, with whom an entire nation – and perhaps most of the cricketing world - could find no fault, we have innumerable stories of great players who show that they are human – which often endeared them to fans.
Especially considering it is a human tendency to err, and knowing our idols are, in some way, perhaps, ‘just like us.’
Brian Lara, arguably one of the greatest who ever played the game of cricket, had a knack of scooping up a full length delivery past midwicket, which usually landed him in trouble.
Very rarely does the world sight upon an ‘Ubermensch’ as Nietzsche would say, a man such as Roger Federer.
The sheer lack of a flaw usually drives people to hate him. An inability to identify with a gifted human being.
Pete Sampras was flawed in the way he approached clay courts, as was Andre Agassi with the mental fragilities he struggled with for so long, or John McEnroe with his temper issues, as is Nick Kyrgios today – but Roger Federer is another being altogether.