I call it a sojourn because it did not last long. I quickly moved back to my first racquet sport, Table Tennis and immersed myself into it to get that coveted position in Inter-IIT. Coincidently, Federer was not having a great year in 2011 either. Just when Federer’s Wimbledon ship seemed to be sailing smooth, Jo Wilfried Tsonga, the bulky man from France, had risen like a shark from under water and gobbled up his entire ship, upsetting him from two sets down. And with that ship even my heart sank, just like it did for the umpteen losses that followed that one.

I remember 2012 though, Wimbledon again. I hadn’t been following that season much, but then there was this Federer vs. Djokovic Semi-finals. And with the form that both the players were in, I prepared my heart, just like a lover prepares his before a break-up. And just as that lover tries to stay away from his love during that phase, I was also planning to do the same. But then, Dad turned on the T.V. and Federer was leading 1–0 in the match. The next serve was an ace and that spark set the forest of my sports’ passions on fire, as I retreated heavily to the nearest sofa. He defeated Djoker in straight sets — one of his best performances I’ll say, and even went on to win the title after defeating the slightly-local boy Murray. But these wins were sparse, and so were my visits to the Tennis courts.

I continued with my Tennis after coming to IIMA, making it a regular habit amid the gruelling academics here. But the watching frequency had reduced. It had to, Federer was either injured or not playing well. I used to start watching his important matches but then used to shut them midway when I felt he would lose. The worse part about it was that my fears used to come true. It had always been my dream to watch Federer live when I first watch a Tennis Championship live. But he was absent in the BNP Paris Masters 2016, and the sad part about it was that it felt sort of natural, an eventuality that would have struck sooner or later.

You always feel bad when the greats start faltering, when the wrinkles of their age start erasing the beauty of their past. It arouses a feeling of sympathy and sadness, something akin to what I felt when Sanath Jayasuriya (Cricket) had announced his retirement. But with RF, it was not just that. It was different.

How was it different?

Follow me on Medium to read the next post on this series. This series, unlike Rahul Gandhi’s brains, is not at all fictional and has been the truest prose I have written. I mostly write Poetry, but have been dabbling with prose a lot lately. It’s a bit different from what I usually like and I hope you liked it.

Missing context? Start with the Part 1. 🙂

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