As a dad, you always want you little girl’s dreams to come true. If her dream is to be an actress, then you want her to win an Academy Award. If she wants to be a doctor, then you want her to cure cancer.
Slawomir Kerber’s little girl always wanted to be the best tennis player in the world. At age 28, Angelique fulfilled those dreams by winning the US Open Woman’s Title.
“I was always dreaming to being one day to being No. 1 and to be in the Grand Slams,” she said. “I’m not 18, so I was always trying to improving my game. I knew that I have the game to beat the best players and just being patient and working really hard.
“And now to see that the work pays off, this is actually the best feeling. Because I was a lot of hours on the practice courts, sweating and everything, and you are just playing for this moment to being on the center court in the final and with the amazing crowd.
“So this is what I was always dreaming for. That’s why I’m talking a lot about that.”
After beating Karolina Pliskova yesterday, 6-3 4-6 6-4, Kerber finished off a great Grand Slam season that saw her win Australia and New York and be the runner up in Wimbledon. She quickly rose in the rankings and finally surpassed Serena Williams for the top spot.
The funny thing, though, she did it differently than most. For years, she was a good player and not a great player.
She did well and was a Top 10 player, but never at the pinnacle. Usually, you don’t see a player improve so much in later in her career, but Kerber did, because she decided to take it to another level after last season.
“I was really trying to improving a lot of things,” Kerber said. “First of all, of course, my fitness and then to being more aggressive and go for it when I have the chance. Not just hitting the balls over the net. Just playing my game. Because I know that when I practicing I can be aggressive.
“Just make the transfer on the match court that was the challenge. And also, mentally to being more positive, a little bit stronger, and just focusing on the moment I am on court.”
This can be a lesson for all players of all sports. Never take anything for granted. If the talent is there, there is always room to improve.
And the example Kerber sets for any young person is remarkable. “You know, you have to believe in your dreams,” she said. “You have to go with a lot of patience. Yeah, working hard. Just have a great team around you and really love what you are doing. This is when you do everything and everything comes together one day.
“I see it this year. I don’t know. I think I will show a few videos my childrens in a few years, and just, yeah, I don’t know, just tell them, you know, everybody — just believe in yourself and do what you really love.”
Sometimes, sports gives us that special feeling. Sometimes the good people win without cutting corners. And sometimes, star athletes can be examples for young people.
Yesterday, Angelique Kerber gave us all three.
She fulfilled her dreams and did it the right way.