It seems that the whole world wants a tiny slice of your time and your head must be spinning. Yet, as with everything else apparently, you have it all under control.
18 years old, Grand Slam champion, instant global icon. Seeing how you played; seeing how you talk about how you played, sends us all to raid the thesaurus.
Gutsy, courageous, spirited.
Composed, cool-headed, calm under pressure.
Exuberant, joyful, zesty.
Authentic, grounded, genuine.
The real deal.
Already an icon.
Your style of play makes you a mesmerising watch. Your conduct off the court is equally compelling.
Few will experience the scrutiny that you have already been exposed to – and at such a young age. Not many have accomplished a breakthrough quite as explosive as yours. And at the age of 18.
I think back to my 18 year old self. Best not to dwell too long on the messy mix of self-doubt and self-righteousness; flashes of confidence undercut by a need for acceptance, validation, the applause of the crowd. Faults and double faults smoke-screened by bluster. It was all McEnroe and not enough Borg in my case. (That dates me). It was the line judges. The racquet. The sun in my eyes. The cross wind that made me fluff the ball toss. Yes, it took me a long while to take responsibility.
Then there’s you. Not only a champion, an athlete, a history-maker, an achiever of sporting miracles. But also, it seems, utterly unfazed by the feverish swirl of the moment. You are at home with yourself and your surroundings. Poised. At one with yourself. Real.
We have a saying at my school – Intus Si Recte Ne Labora: “If right within, worry not“. In your game, you have to stay within the lines. Yet you do it with such freedom. You make exceptional look so easy. Something so sublime, so uncomplicated in its excellence is the fruit of hard work; of gifts diligently cultivated.
You praised your parents – for their strong values and demanding standards; you deflected glory onto your team; the support of others. All true, and deserved praise, no doubt.
But let’s be honest. This is about you. You radiate something purely brilliant. You are right within. And you will inspire others – many many others – to discover and share their light.
Character as true and as luminous as yours can only come from within. From the person you are. You have lit up the sporting world. As you go on, surely to further glories, I hope your unique light shines on unfiltered and true.