By Nicole Abittan, Science and Technology Editor
Toward the end of eighth grade my principal addressed our class, reminding each of us that “the ball is in your courts as you embark on the next phase of your lives.” As an avid tennis fan, this quote struck me and has come to mind several times.
This past month, when I attended the Miami Open finals weekend, I once again remembered these words which have resonated within me years ago. As the first match I watched that weekend began, the men’s singles quarterfinals, many thought “top seeded player” Daniil Medvedev would beat Hubert Hurkacz. Around two hours later, while Hurkacz was proclaimed the match’s winner, a disappointed Medvedev delivered the sensational quote: he felt “like a fish on the sofa.”
Although I enjoy rallies with friends, my expertise in and devotion to the sport is far from Medvedev’s. I can only begin to imagine Medvedev’s disappointment in being unsuccessful in regaining the No. 1 ranking. Athletes like Medvedev spend years dedicated to training. Day after day, they inch toward their goal of being at the top of their game. Yet, sometimes there can only be one winner, and losing is disappointing.
My earliest memory of disappointment was in summer camp at my very first color war. As the camp director announced that the blue team had beat the red team, I was nonetheless proud of my contributions to the dance and art banner, and excited for my friends on the opposing team. But, as I witnessed the crushed reactions of many teammates, the disappointment began to sink in.
After some thought, I recognized that I valued the friends I made, memories I created, and lessons I learned during those three days and did not only care about which team had won. Although the outcome of that color war might not have been considered ideal by others, it was everything I hoped for, and I have won many color wars since.
Similarly, while the results of this match were not what Medvedev had wished for, I believe that the ball is still in his court. With continued commitment, coupled with support from his family, friends, trainers, and country, Medvedev will have many future opportunities to improve, succeed, and reclaim the title he so desires.
This lesson of perseverance from the Miami Open is applicable to us college students as well as to all others at various stages of life. The ball is in our courts. We are each equipped with a unique set of skills and talents, and we are all capable of immense success. Even when you hit a letdown as Medvedev did, pick up your rackets, put in the effort, and get back out on the court!