Archive for August 17, 2013

What if ..

Cincinnati 2013

Cincinnati 2013

It was a blue night at at Western & Southern Open outside Cincinnati: Serena wore blue headband, blue 3/4 length sleeves top, Na wore blue visor, blue top. Both wore gray skirts. Blue seats, blue banners, officials’ top are blue, ball boys wore blue top and bottom ..

Watching Serena Williams plays Li Na for the ninth time at Western & Southern Open outside Cincinnati, I thought about one of their earlier match (according to match stat, they played eight times since 2006, today is their 9th) in 2010, the quarter final at Wimbledon. The match itself was not memorable at the time but the occasion and location: we were celebrating my daughter’s sweet 16 in the center court.

Looking back now, I found that match meant a lot more today. Serena disposed Li Na effortlessly. The  7-5 and 6-3 score might depict a closer match but it wasn’t. It felt, more like a warm up for Serena who hardly grunted. It was my first time watching Li Na in action. Their match was proceeded by Kim Clijsters and followed by four old times like Martina Navratilova. I was over dosed on tennis, and thinking, at 28, regretfully, Li would soon be a cast off.

I was so wrong.  I should never under estimate the drive of  a champion. In less than a year, as the first Asian player to ever win a grand slam, Na hoisted a shiny trophy in Roland Garros.

Persistence and opportunity, hard working notwithstanding. Tennis, as any profession, to win at the very top level, a little nuance here and bit luck there separates the winner and loser. A friend told me years ago, he treated a Chinese delegation to a  plain bowl of millet gruel in Flushing. The calculated clinched the IPO deal on Wall Street. So it was surprise at this year’s Wimbledon when Li Na did not challenge her second serve on the set point (at 5:4 her advantage).  She questioned the chair empire if the call was correct but elected not to challenge. A second later the TV network replay showed the ball was good. Li Na went on to lose that first set and ultimately the match.

What if Li challenged the wrong call – she had full three challenges remain at her disposal – she would have won the first set. And since she won the second set, the match was hers. This year’s Wimbledon was weak by the time Li arrived at quarter final. It was her time to win.

Guess I was wrong again.

Actually I was wrong on betting Serena was going to win the tournament. She exited even earlier than Li by dealing with the crucial points too tentatively. What if she played more aggressively and took control of the match sooner?

Life is full of opportunities and choices. Working hard is as important as timing. As for my girl, she is attending the university of her dream. She waited, and waited until the last school sent in the acceptance letter. Yes, her choice came in last.

Serena stopped playing and called Li’s shot out. It was out, which gave Serena the game. It was 6:5 second set. Li Na would double faulted to give Serena her final at Cincinnati.


观看小威廉姆斯和李娜在打辛辛那提的西部及南部公开赛(这是她们第9次相遇) 令我想他们早期的一次比赛: 2010年温布尔登网球公开赛。她们的那场比赛本身并不是很令人难忘。但是时间和地点令我难忘 因为我们在中心球场为我的女儿庆祝她的甜蜜16。

时隔三年,现在回想起来,我发现那场比赛意味深长。7-5和6-3的比分 可能描绘了一个挺接近的比赛 但是事实上小威几乎不费吹灰之力, 更像是一个热身因为小威几乎都没有怎么哼声。这是我第一次看李娜打球。当时我在想, 真可惜 她已经28岁了日,不久就会退休了。


持久性和机会,加上辛勤工作是成功的定律。网球和其他任何职业一样,在最顶层,分别赢家和失败者只是一线之差。几年前一位朋友告诉我,他绞尽脑汁 兼冒天下之大不韪,请了一队中国代表团在法拉盛吃了碗普通的小米粥。他的计算精益求精,最后夺得了这队的IPO交易。是此,上个月在温布顿当李娜没有挑战她的第一局盘点,(5比4,李娜优势分) 我几乎休克。她只是随便问问高高在上的裁判然后马不停蹄地走回到底线。几秒钟后,电视台回放显示球是好的。她的发球直接得分变成二发失误,把她已经赢了的第一局拱手送给她的对手。接着她输掉了第一局,最终输掉了比赛。
假如她挑战那个致命的错误那?她就可以晋升了 因为她拿下了第二局。今年的温网是越打越弱。等李娜打进八强时,她是硕果仅存的名人。这本该是她赢的时机。


其实,我还错在投注小威会赢结果她比李娜更早被淘汰了,因为她在处理几个关键点时犹豫不决,失去了几个良机。假如她打得更积极主动些?生命是充满机遇和选择。勤奋努力和时机是一样重要。至于我的女儿,她考进了梦想的大学,在等录取通知时,她沉住气,。等待, 等待,直到她想要的学校的录取通知书。那封信是最晚到的。


Li Na, Serena Williams in Rogers Cup semis, Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 – Williams are a match away from their eighth meeting after both secured the WTA Rogers Cup semif

NYT Roof

Leave a Comment