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In sport, age isn’t everything

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jul 16, 2018, 12:05 am IST
Updated : Jul 16, 2018, 2:35 am IST

Today’s athletes may feel their energy levels are more important than age.

Serena Williams (Photo: AFP)
 Serena Williams (Photo: AFP)

Are today’s sportsmen/women superpeople? It may appear so if you consider that all four Wimbledon semi-finalists were above 30 and played some of the most excruciatingly tense and seemingly endless fifth sets in its history. Rafael Nadal, who the world felt would battle Roger Federer for Sunday’s crown, was also knocked out, but by a just younger and as great a player in Djokovic. There was a time when a player touching 30 was considered just over the hill. All this only proves that in the modern era, where average athletes are fitter than their predecessors, age is just a number. The debate has already begun over whether Wimbledon should also have a fifth set tie-breaker or else the survivor can’t be expected to be in the pink of condition to play the final. But what happens when both finalists have been put to the grind?

Today’s athletes may feel their energy levels are more important than age. So what sort of energy levels were needed for world tennis supermom Serena Williams, nearing 37, who was in the final just 10 months after a caesarean delivery and awful ante-natal complications that were life-threatening. Beating her in straight sets was herself a late bloomer. German-Polish Angelique Kerber won her first Wimbledon at 28 by making Serena, ranked 181 in the world due to her pregnancy break, run around the hallowed Centre Court.

Serena’s story should send the inspirational message that nothing is impossible even if she didn’t quite emulate Evonne Goolagong in winning Wimbledon as mother of a child. In her trademark never-say-die spirit in the face of adversity, Serena warns that she was “just getting started”.

Tags: roger federer, serena williams