Fair Play: God, can't you give her a break?

IT’S the stuff most sports movies are made of.

The heroine gets to the pinnacle of the sport, only to falter after off-court troubles.

She gathers herself, mounts a comeback then finds herself in one of the biggest matches of her career.

At first, it seems she’s headed for an easy win, but the protagonist fights back and she’s trailing.

Worse, our heroine gets injured.

But she fights through, and takes the lead, then…

If this was a Hollywood movie, Jelena Dokic should still be playing in the French Open.

The former teen star, heartthrob and World No. 4 should have defeated the current No. 4 Elena Dementieva in the second round of the French Open.

But real life isn’t a Hollywood movie, and for now, there are no happy endings for Dokic.

Unseeded, unheralded and unlucky, Dokic had to quit her match against Dementieva, while leading by a set and trailing 4-3 in the second, due to an injury.

One fan, in a comment at a YouTube video, said it all for everyone, “God, can’t you give her a break?”

Dokic, one of the feel-good stories in tennis this year, was tied with Dementieva at 2-2 when she felt something snap while going for a backhand.

After a short break to call a trainer, Dokic, in tears, fought on and even broke Dementieva to lead 3-2.

But it wasn’t meant to be. Dokic, with agony written all over her face, lost the next two games to trail 4-3.

Had this been Hollywood, there would have been flashbacks to the time when Dokic was at her lowest point, and to when she was at her peak. She would have summoned all the strength that she could to win the next three games in spectacular fashion.

But this isn’t Hollywood.

And at the changeover, while Dementieva sat to take a brief rest, Dokic walked over to the umpire to say, “It’s over.”

She then shook Dementieva’s hand, walked to her chair, grabbed a towel, buried her face and cried. Cried for the cruelty of it all.

“Obviously it’s not my time at the grand slams. I’m not 15 anymore, so it’s time, probably, to take more care now and I just really, really hope it’s nothing serious,” Dokic, who turned 26 last April 12, told Reuters.

Dementieva also showed some class. After Dokic shook her hand, she never returned to her seat. Instead, she approached her fallen foe, then after hesitating for a few seconds, rubbed the back of the sobbing Dokic.

“It feels bad to win this way and it must be hard on her. She was very solid…I didn’t deserve to win this match,” said Dementieva, who eventually lost to Dokic’s Fed Cup teammate and No. 30 Samatha Stosur in the third round.

Though I’m a big fan of Maria Sharapova and Roger Federer, I wouldn’t have minded the two losing, just as long as Dokic continues her run in the French Open.

Before I became a fan of Maria and Roger, I was a fan of Dokic.

And it was simply because she was pretty. When she started losing and got lost in the limelight, I thought she was just another pretty face in tennis gone to waste.

But she isn’t and she never was.

NADAL’S LOSS. Rafael Nadal lost, and all Federer’s fans are rejoicing.

Curiously, against Robin Soderling, I was cheering for Nadal. It’s not strange really and I’m not changing loyalties.

I just think that when Federer finally wins at Roland Garros, it should be Nadal on the other side of the court.
Not some pretender.

Federer, just the other day, survived Tommy Haas and is into the quarterfinals.

Great players, when faced with adversity, get tougher. Federer simply becomes the guy who won 13 slams.

Trailing two sets to none, and 4-3 in the third, Roger needed only a little over 30 minutes to even the match by winning nine straight games.

That’s Roger. And he just got the biggest break in his quest for 14 Grand Slams.


ceburoo said…
You are right Mike she does need a fair go. With a DEVIL for a father she has spent more time in hell with him than anywhere else. So for just being able to escape him God has given her a break. Now as you rightly put it she needs a break on the court. She had a great run in the Australian Open earlier this year. She showed her undoubted talent in the game against Dementieva. So if she can get her body together in the next few weeks some time before the end of the year we might witness a real farytale story in either at Wimbeldon or the US Open. God knows she deserves it we can only pray it happens for her.
Mike Limpag said…
Graeme, wow, Samantha Stosur just made her first major semifinal. I hope she wins it all.

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