Federer shows age is no barrier for excellence
Roger Federer, regarded by many as the greatest tennis player of all time reached his 31st Grand slam final by defeating arch-rival Rafael Nadal 7-6 (7/3), 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the pair’s 40th career meeting. He is now set to play his 12th Wimbledon final where he will face another great, Novak Djokovic, who is currently the top seed.
The semi-final clash might not have been as theatrical or consuming as the epic duel that the 2008 final was, but Federer still needed five match points to get the better of Nadal.
At 37, the Swiss maestro shows no signs of slowing down and is a benchmark for fitness and perfection and a role model to millions. He has dominated the game for more than two decades, has made comebacks and proved his critics wrong time and again when they wrote him off. The passion with which he plays is still the same as it was when he came into the scene.
In sports requiring peak physical fitness, when athletes cross the age of 32, it's generally regarded that they are past their prime and their performances will eventually fade as the body ages. This is, of course, with only a handful of exceptions around the globe who have been anywhere close to their prime in their mid-thirties. But in the case of Federer, there is absolutely no sign of a dip in performance due to age.
Federer's due to turn 38 next month and is just a step away from a record 21st Grand Slam. He still retains the ability to hit any shot at any time, the famous Federer one-handed backhand and the punishing forehand as well. Even 5-hour matches don't prove difficult for him. He moves across the court seamlessly and his mind-boggling stroke-play is still intact.
All of this is only possible because of the intense care that he must have adopted for his physique. His diet, training and being on top of the mental aspect of the game are all important factors, but there is wonderful learning here for everyone - age is certainly no barrier for excellence.
Mere mortals cannot compare to the legend that Roger Federer is but this should prove to be an inspiration and an example to those contemplating to extend their careers past the accepted retirement age and an eye-opener to those who disapprove of players continuing to play top-class sports after the age of 35.