Opinion: Roger Federer for 2019 Elections? By Simbo Olorunfemi | The Precision


Have you been following the Australian Open? Have you read the letter(s)?


This Australian Open sha! Thought Baba said he had retired.
By this time tomorrow, Roger Federer, I pray, would have qualified for yet another Grand Slam Final. So surreal. Almost beyond belief.
I have followed Roger for too long. Through all those heart-breaking losses to rivals and the moments of doubt when it seemed he would never complete the sweep of all Grand slam titles and the French would remain elusive.
But then that might not be as long as some of those Buhari devotees, who have now cross-carpeted who often remind us how they have followed the man since the amalgamation of Nigeria in 1914, all through the losses of 2003, 2007 and 2011.
So Roger might just be back in the final with a good chance of winning another slam. Same guy that had been written off a few years back. Same Roger who had his 2016 almost completely obliterated by injury. Same Roger who did not win any Grand slam for 5 years.
But against all expectation, he bounced back last year, after a 6 months injury break, to win 2 Grand slam titles, bringing the total haul to 19.
To think of the fact that many had asked Roger, while the going was not too well, to pack his bag and retire while the ovation was still audible, even though some of us, his fans, would not have it.
In fact, when things became quite difficult, a former top player even wrote an open letter to Baba ibeji advising him on the need for “a dignified and honourable dismount from the horse.” Coming from a man who even attempted to take his tennis to the football field, many were forced to ask where this former top player was coming from.
But that is Tennis for you. Tennis is not like politics, or is it?
Baba ibeji did not lose focus or get drowned by the crocodile tears of nay-sayers. He chose to stay true to hmself. Who is better placed to know his state of health and vitality than the man himself? If he feels up to it, who is that other man to tell him he is not up to it?
Whereas some had asked him to quit for the sake of the game, which they said was now too fast for him and his age, he opted to hold on for the sake of the same game.
Some had asked him to retire to take care of the twins, 2 sets for that matter, but he opted to continue playing the game to give the twins the chance to see him play competitively at such high level.
But importantly, he made necessary adjustments in his game, some of which many had clamoured for, long before now. He is fitter and meaner.
It’s a new season, who knows what it has in the offing? Who knows how long he can go? He has not told anyone for how long he will be willing to go.
Often, you hear some of the younger players joke about Roger leaving some trophies for them since he has won so many. Truth is, some of them mean it. Weeks back, just before the Hopman Cup Final, Germany’s Alexander Zverev joked about the possibility of Roger leaving this one for them. Federer did not.
Poower is not served a-la-carte. You have to win it on the court.
That someone is asking you not to contest for a title might, in fact, be an acknowledgement and affirmation of your strength.
You cannot force the Mandela option on anyone.

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You want the Mandela option but not the Mbeki plan?
2019 is around the corner, who knows what it has on offer? Who knows what is in the offing?
Mandela? Mbeki?
It is a call only the player should make. None should be stampeded into making it.
The voice of some gods do not necessarily represent the true voice of the people.
2018 is the semi-final that needs to be won to be able to make it to the final in 2019.
Who knows what 2018 has laid out for Baba Ibeji?

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Olorunfemi is a Nigerian poet, journalist, and business person with a background in TV production and brand management. 

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