US Open 2013 tennis championship ended last Monday and was won by Rafael Nadal – the hardest working man in pro tennis.
I am not a real tennis aficionado but I am fascinated by it as the most vivid and obvious display of the human work ethics. Sure, all high level sports are about the work ethics too – but In many other sports there is either too much of the background grinding and sweat with too many tiny details that are not visible to the untrained eye.
For me tennis exposes the qualities of consistency and work ethics in the most elegant and easy-to-observe form. The rallies are visible and the points accumulate in clusters (games & sets) that are grouped in such a way that reward the effort over the sporadic flashes of brilliance and lucky shots. What I find fascinating is exactly this duality – on the one hand, the game of tennis looks "light" – like "one doesn't have to" keep the intense work rate all the time; but on the other hand – it is the consistency and tenacity that defines the winning ways rather than a pure talent & skill…
That was a pre-amble – but my message itself today is very brief. A couple of days ago I picked up a newspaper in the plane where the sports section reported about Nadal's US Open triumph and these are the quotes I really want to share with:
"[Nadal] plays by his own confession, not just to win titles but for the puritanical pleasure of working for each and every point " It is a process rather than a destination for Nadal. "I am a positive player, not a negative player" Nadal said.