I just read your post :) Don't be sad about not getting Fed's autograph! You got to see him up close, which is amazing in itself. I remember at Wimbledon this year I queued for ages to see his match but I arrived too late, which was really disappointing, so I just watched it on the big screen, then later on in the day I saw him walking around in person! For a while I was really disappointed I didn't manage to get a photo, but I later realised just remembering that I saw it was enough :D
thank you so much :) i really hope i get the chance to see him again. even though he was right there, i kind of wish i had something in my hands to remember you know?
Yesterday I went to BNP Paribas at Indian Wells, CA. For non-tennis fans, BNP is basically a HUGE tennis competition where the world’s greats all come together for two weeks and battle it out. It’s honestly half a step below the majors (Australian Open, US Open, French Open, and Wimbledon). So I went expecting to watch some tennis, that was it. I didn’t think I’d even really see tennis stars, let alone get their autographs.
But, I bought a huge tennis ball just because. I’ve wanted one for years—didn’t care about the signatures, just wanted one since it’s cute haha.
So I had just left watching Novak Djokovic playing doubles when I heard people saying, “Roger Federer is practicing over there!”
And for those of you who don’t know, Roger Federer is a LEGEND. He held the number 1 position in the world for 237 weeks in a row. That’s about 4.5 years. He fluctuated a bit, so really he spent a lot more time at #1, but that’s just consecutive. He is acknowledged by many to be the greatest tennis player of all time. And he’s still playing. And he’s my favorite—I watched him rise to #1 and I watched him stay there year after year. For those of you that know me, Roger Federer is to tennis what DBSK is to Kpop for me. He is a huge presence and my first love and that cannot change.
So I ran and I watched him practice, and he is so elegant. Even more in person. The TV cannot capture the beauty and power of his ground strokes and forehands and that backhand, my God. That is beauty. Just seeing him play was enough, but then he started to sign autographs. I ran farther into the crowd and I was up against the fence, screaming his name. He was making his way down the crowd signing as many autographs as he could—he must have signed almost 150 autographs in that session alone. No wonder he only signs his initials! So he was getting close, and you have to understand that as he approached I could feel my heart beating at what had to be 110 beats per minute and I felt so hot and my legs were shaking, I would have collapsed if the people behind me weren’t pushing against me. And when he got right next to me, with just a 3 foot chain-link fence separating us, I ceased to feel a heart beat at all. It honestly felt like the sun replaced my heart for that second and I couldn’t breathe. And I watched him sign the hat of the boy to my left, and I watched him sign the hat of the man on my right,… and then I watched him walk away. And even as I called his name he wouldn’t look back— and I don’t blame him. If he did look back for every person who called his name, he would never be able to leave. But my heart fell, everything fell. And I cried, so hard. I’m honestly not sure why, but I guess it’s because in that second I had so much hope—more hope for something that I always thought would be impossible, and then it was all gone. With nothing to show for it. He was right there! And I hate myself—if I had called out his name louder, or stuck out that ball farther, ANYTHING. If I had been standing in a different place in line, maybe then I would’ve gotten it. And he is even more beautiful the closer you get. Really. You could see his tanned skin, and the wrinkles near his eyes that tell you he’s smiled so much in his life, and his right forearm was so beautifully defined after years and years of practice. He was wearing a gray t-shirt and yet he was radiant. Really, truly radiant. And I have never been so in awe of anything or anyone.
So there…to be honest thinking about it still makes me teary. I can’t believe I came thisclose to him. I heard him speak. Even that seemed to radiate warmth and life. I’d like to say that it’s okay, because I’ll get another chance, but I don’t think I will. The tennis world is holding it’s breath—waiting for him to announce his retirement. But I beg, one or two more years. I’ll return to BNP and I will do everything in my power to get an autograph and to say thank you and to tell him that he was the reason I began to watch tennis and that I really think he will be the greatest tennis player who has ever lived and that I will never forget him. Please, Roger, just two more years. Give me a chance to say hello and good bye and thank you. I beg.
*And for those that wonder why I don’t like Rafa Nadal—when Roger signed autographs, he signed at least 150 and when down the entire line. When Rafa did it, he signed 15. Big difference. I just think that Roger is a lot kinder and gracious and classy. So that’s why he’s my favorite.
“When you drop a glass or a plate to the ground, it makes a loud crashing sound. When a window shatters, a table leg breaks, or when a picture falls off the wall, it makes a noise. But as for your heart, when that breaks, it’s completely silent. You would think that for something so important, it would make the loudest noise in the whole world, or even have some sort of ceremonious sound like the gong of a symbol or the ringing of a bell. But it’s silent and you almost wish there was a noise to distract you from the pain.”—Cecelia Ahern, If You Could See Me Now (via selfinspiration)