If you read my blog post titled Then Vs. Now, you know I take issue with the lack of spontaneity, authenticity and even enjoyment shown by today’s professional golfers. Did you happen to catch Roberta Vinci beating Serena Williams today? I know that was a tennis match and this is a golf blog, but Vinci’s post-match interview was everything I love about sports and athletes. http://espn.go.com/
Serena Williams was on a path to make tennis history and seemed unbeatable. Then Roberta Vinci, not even ranked and against all odds, beat her.
The victory itself was incredible, but the way Vinci dealt with it was just as impressive. I can’t remember seeing as much pure joy, spontaneity and authenticity in an athlete as I did today.
First off, she said the unthinkable. She apologized. Yes, you read that right, SHE APOLOGIZED. She actually had the sensitivity and wherewithal to know that the loss was excruciating for Serena and so many of Serena’s fans. She went on to say this just must have been her day.
Then she was asked how was she able to believe in herself when the odds were 300 to 1 against her. I was expecting all the usual sound bites: “I came to play,” “I envisioned myself winning.” NOPE. She said she never thought she could win… the only thing she told herself was to enjoy the match.
She played for the joy of it, and that earned her the biggest win of her life and possibly the biggest upset in sports. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.