Two Great Tennis PlayersOctober 27, 2008
His childhood was a huge tragedy. Even before he was born, three of his older siblings died. When he was barely 18, his mother died. Three years later, his father and brother died. At the young age of 22, he was the only survivor of a once big family.
He was encouraged to play Tennis by a relative, who considered it to be a form of therapy for his grief.
Five years later, he became the first American player to win a tournament at Wimbledon, in England. In the 1920’s he dominated the sport of Tennis like no one else. He won seven US Championships, three Wimbledon titles. In fact, his form was so good during his peak that he won 57 games in a row.
He was Bill Tilden, one of the greatest Tennis players of all time.
When he was barely 6 years, his mother passed away. To avoid his loneliness, he started playing Tennis. It did not take a long time for him to come to the main stage. In 1969, he won both US Open and the Davis Cup for his country. Yet, in that year, he was denied entrance to a South African tournament because he was black. He then started using his star status to help African American people to achieve equality. He also won the Wimbledon on a come back effort.
In 1980, he had a heart stroke; in the hospital during surgery, he was given HIV infected blood. He contacted AIDS. Still, for 13 years, he fought to bring awareness about AIDS worldwide.
One of his fans wrote a letter asking him that while there were five hundred billion people on the planet, why God chose him for the deadly disease? To which, he replied – “Every year fifty million people start playing Tennis, 50000 people come to the circuit, 5000 reach the Grand slams, 50 reach Wimbledon, 4 to the semi-finals, 2 to the finals and only one player among all wins the title. When I was holding the Cup (After winning the Wimbledon), I never asked God “Why me?”. And today in pain too, I should not be asking God, “Why me?”
He was Arthur Ashe, another renowned Tennis player of his time.
It is from these great people that we must take inspiration. Not the hero’s and heroine’s of Bollywood.