Roger Federer's victory over Rafael Nadal last week at the Australian Open was nothing short of miraculous. It was also a classic display of never giving up, whatever be the circumstances. Here are five other lessons we learnt while watching Roger Federer lift his record 18th Grand Slam title.  

Set 1 - Respect Your Opponent:

Roger Federer won more hearts during his post-match presentation when he confessed he would have loved to have drawn the match so he could share the spoils with Rafael Nadal, his biggest foe on the tennis court. That's an important lesson most of us miss. Our greatest victories come when they are achieved against the biggest opponents. What use is a superhero if he has to fight against petty thieves, right? So, always respect your opponent - it is they who will challenge and bring out the best in you. Your victory will taste sweeter when you've achieved it from an equal.  

Set 2 - Keep Believing In Yourself:

Roger Federer's last Grand Slam victory came in 2012. Five years is a lifetime for many pro tennis players, which is why Federer's dedication and spirit must be cheered above all else. Over the past few months, many fans and commentators openly wondered how an aging Federer was ever going to win a Grand Slam. Federer himself never spoke on the topic and let his tennis racquet do all the talking. It is only by believing in yourself that you can achieve what others think is impossible.  

Set 3 - Punch Above Your Weight:

The roller-coaster final was not for the weak-hearted. Every time Nadal edged ahead, that sinking feeling that was familiar to Federer's fans came out in full force. When Nadal had raced ahead to 3-0 in the final set, the silence on the court suggested that everybody had given up on Federer. That is when Federer showed why he was a true great. He reached out and literally grabbed victory from the jaws of defeat by punching above his weight. From his delicate spinning from the nets to his elegant backhand, every shot was measured with the assurance of victory before leaving Federer’s racquet. When life seems overwhelming, it is easy to give up and try another day. But, as Federer showed, you can also rise to the occasion and make a name for yourself.  

Set 4 - Stop Making Excuses:

Roger Federer is widely regarded as the greatest tennis player of all time. He could have gone into the sunset a glorious man. He was coming back after six months because of an injury. He could have tested the waters before getting back to the circuit. In short, Federer had the best excuses to give up, but he persisted. Greatness is not how many medals you win but how much hunger you have to achieve more. The only sure-shot way of chasing your dreams of greatness is to stop making excuses right away.  

Set 5 - Perfection Is An Elusive And Evolving Concept:

Roger Federer is nothing if not a representative of his home country's famed Swiss perfection. Where others players need to modify their bodies and food, Federer seems to glide effortlessly from one end of the court to the other even at the age of 35 today. At no time, however, did Federer think that his game was perfect and stuck to his routine. After all, why not stick to the same rules that made him the best in the world and won him 17 Grand Slams? Too often we chase perfection in our efforts without realising that it’s the effort rather than its intensity that matters in the end. Letting go of perfection is what’s needed to unburden ourselves, because without imperfection there is no scope to learn and grow further.


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