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Old 07-15-2019, 08:03 AM
Stanislaus is online now
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: London
Posts: 3,103
A lot of elite performance is in the mind, and there's a part of F/N/D/W's success that is self-sustaining. When you, a supremely talented 20-something at peak physical fitness walk on court to face, say, Djokovic, you're not just playing Djokovic, you're playing Djokovic. The guy who's been winning Grand Slams since you were crying over losing an under-8s match. The player you dreamed of being. The legend. Sure, you've got a plan for beating him, you've got some notes about when to hit drop shots but as you walk on court you know it's a long shot. You're half-expecting to lose.

I recently saw an old interview with Andy Murray, right back when he was a teenager at his first Wimbledon and hadn't had media training. It went something like:

Interviewer: "So, Andy, welcome to your first Wimbledon. How far are you hoping you'll get through the tournament?"
Andy Murray: "All the way."
Itnerviewer, slightly incredulously: "You're hoping to win Wimbledon on your first ever visit?"
Andy Murray, future world No. 1:"Didn't come here for any other reason."

That's the mentality. And yes, at that point there weren't quite a Big Three, and certainly not like there are now. But if Zverev, Tsipras etc. aren't coming to the the Majors thinking, "This is my tournament, this is my time, get out of my way you old men" then they're playing on one leg.