In the 2013 final, Sabine Lisicki lost her first final too, simply crumpling under the pressure. I wrote about that one last year, because there were important points to note on the self improvement front. I’ve put a link to that article below.
In Lisicki’s case, her nerves got the better of her as she lost to Marion Bartoli. Interesting to note that Bartoli herself had buckled from nerves in the 2007 final but had come back to win.
Let’s not forget Jana Novotna, who lost in the final and burst into tears during the presentations, but who also later came back to take the title.
There’s a difference in Eugenie’s case though, partly because it wasn’t the pressure that beat her, and partly because of what she said throughout the whole tournament…
She wasn’t beaten by pressure she had heaped on herself, nor by a particular collapse under nerves – she was just beaten by someone playing much better tennis! Petra Kvitova simply worked out how to take the strengths of Genie’s game away from her, so she nullified her.
That was impressive from Kvitova, a player who had won the title early on, but in her case found it difficult to cope *after* the win, and it’s only really now that she has got back to the mental place she was before.
A lot of modern tennis players come from poor backgrounds, and they have used tennis as a way to struggle onwards and upwards. It’s impressive every time I see it, but that’s not what happened to Bouchard either…
Growing up in Canada, she wasn’t from a poor background. Far from it in fact, so she didn’t have that as a driver. Her driver was that she had simply decided to do it, and had decided that she would strive to be the best at anything she did. That’s my main point today, and it could be seen loud and clear in her interviews.
She’s an up comer in the game, it was only a couple of years ago that she won the junior title. As she progressed through the rounds, the interviewers asked her time and time again if she was surprised by the results.
Her answer? “No, not really”
She didn’t say that in a cocky way either, because she followed it up by saying that she had spent hours a day on court, and hours a day in the gym for years, and her results were an end product of all that work.
She also said that she expected herself to perform her *best* every time. She didn’t say that just once, it’s her stock answer to the same question, and whereas some sports players give fairly anodyne answers, that answer of hers is a lesson that can change lives.
One chapter in my book is called ‘Do You Expect To Succeed?’ and Genie’s words go to the heart of it. She expects to succeed, she expects the best of herself, and that expectation is not based on wishful thinking, it’s based on the knowledge of all the years of hard work.
How surprising is it to hear that hard work is the foundation to success? It’s not surprising at all, there’s a reason for it coming up time and time again!
Bearing all that in mind, she didn’t win, so it’s hats off to Kvitova, and unlucky Eugenie. Although I doubt that she’ll be thinking of herself as ‘unlucky’. She’ll be analysing why she lost, and then getting to work on preventing it happening again, and that will mean working out a way to stop opponents doing what Kvitova did to her game.
I love this story! Look to your own goals, whether they include a Wimbledon title or not! Do you expect to succeed? Do you demand the best of yourself, and are you putting in the hard graft to get there? Instead of viewing tennis as a gentle lob across the net, how about viewing it as a full speed forehand whack right to a goal achievement lesson that can bring amazing results!
Ok, do let me know what you think, and feel free to share, like, tweet etc, thanks!