By Helena Keeble
It’s been a busy few weeks full of triumphs and disappointments in the U.S. Open this year. But one game caught the press’s eye – Nadal vs. Mayer. Despite his overall victory, the press pounced on the World Number One’s unlucky first set in his game on 2 September.
Rather than focus on the victory of the 4 set win, questions were hammered about the 14 breakpoints in the first set, (6-7 6-3 6-1 6-4). During the U.S. Open press conference, Nadal expertly changed the focus of the event entirely, making it clear that he saw the 14th breakpoint as ‘the 14th opportunity’.
Nadal’s attitude vastly contradicted that of the press as he emphasized ‘opportunity’, manipulating negative questions into positive responses, looking forwards rather than back; ‘opportunity to compete and try to compete better than what I did [today]’. I found it shocking how the entirety of the press collaboratively decided to diminish Nadal due to an incident in the first set which he eventually triumphed over anyway.
Surely this proves that journalism needs to change its stance in all world sport and abandon the focus on negatives, instead celebrating victories. I think we should all learn from the Spanish champion and focus on our victories in the present and opportunities in the future – ultimately, the only way a champion can.
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