It sure was great to be back in New York for the US Open a few weeks ago after a few years break being in lock downs! I love the energy and vibe of the city and it is always wonderful to catch up with so many friends from around the world. It was also great being able to participate in the first ever Mental Health in Tennis Summit and be there to support Shingo Kunieda going for the Grand Slam and do some shopping too! There are always powerful lessons to learn from the players who made it all happen. Here are just a few.
Believe in Yourself
I just believed in myself and believed in my game. I always say, you have to believe in yourself. Hope is the last thing that you lose.
Carlos Alcaraz – the first teenager to win a Grand Slam since Rafa Nadel won the French Open back in 2005.
Learn from your Losses
It’s part of tennis. Winning or losing is part of it. The most important thing is accepting it, learning from the finals that I lost. But I’m not someone that’s going to give up. I am sure I’m going to be in the final again.
Ons Jabeur – US Open Finalist
Never Give up on your Dreams
I’m going to come back and I will win this thing one day.
Frances Tiafoe (after losing a long 5 set Semi final match to Alcaraz)
On Serena’s Evolving….
You are fearless. I love it. And you hate to lose. It’s great. You’ve touched our hearts and minds to be our authentic self, to use our voices, to dream big. Thank you for your leadership and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, especially for women and women of color. Most of all, thank you for sharing your journey with every single one of us. We love you.
Billie Jean King to Serena Williams
I think she embodies that no dream is too big. It doesn’t matter where you come from, the circumstances, you can do anything if you believe in yourself…’Old’ is not even a word in her vocabulary.
Ajla Tomljanovic (after defeating Serena in her final match)
Coping with the Pressure
I learned in my life that you just have to accept it, you can’t ignore it. It’s going to be there. You feel it. Everybody else feels it for you. So instead of trying to say, ‘I’m not nervous,’ ‘I’m not this,’ I’m saying, ‘I am nervous, I do feel pressure, I do feel this.’ Once you acknowledge a problem, you can solve it.
Coco Gauff (Quarter Finalist US Open)
Nothing to Lose
I came from nothing, and when you come from nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose.
Danielle Collins( Lost in Round of 16 to Sabalenka)
What do you Really Want?
I want to be playing on the biggest stadiums in the world in front of millions of people broadcasted globally. That’s where I want to be. That is why I work hard. It makes it even sweeter. I know a lot of people don’t want me to succeed. I know a lot of people hate my game, the way I do things, the way I go about it….I feel like I’ve got so much left to give to the sport.
Nick Kyrgios(Quarter Finalist)
It’s like a confirmation for me that the sky is the limit.
Iga Swiatek – US Open Women’s Singles Champion
If you can make it in New York…
I hope I can send a powerful message that if I made it here, everybody could make it here. Especially for women from different countries, especially from the Middle East, from the Arab world, I hope they can believe more in themselves.
Ons Jabeur – US Open Women’s Singles Finalist (from Tunisia)
Giving it your All
If the point seems lost, I still believe I have a chance to get to the ball, to keep the point alive….You have to give everything you have to give. We have to fight for every last point. It doesn’t matter if we are fighting for five hours, six hours.
Carlos Alcaraz – US Open Men’s Singles Champion
Never give up on your dreams no matter where you come from. Dream big and go for it.
Foot note: Unfortunately Shingo did not win the Final to make it a Grand Slam but it sure has been an amazing year for the GOAT of Wheelchair tennis winning three of the four Grand Slams.