There are great players, who in addition to having won Grand Slam tournaments, also remain well-behaved by practicing fair play.
Playing fairly involves many things. It goes beyond accepting a loss after one good shot from an opponent. So many players take for granted a good play! A good play can be a mistake, but others are made deliberately so as to win. There is such an obsession with winning that ethics become less important, and sometimes are thrown out all together. World champions, however, in addition to almost always accepting the referee’s decisions, have exemplary behavior. They respect their adversaries, since they celebrate humbly every time they gain a point. They celebrate for themselves, and not to show off or attack the opponent. They respect the spectators instead of getting angry and yelling at them. Before each match or tournament, they talk about what they hope the results will be, instead of securing a victory. They do not spend time insulting aloud, nor throwing the racket, nor shattering it against the ground. After a triumph, they don’t get drunk with vanity.
They know that they do not need to believe in victory, they simply already are victorious, and when they feel that way, the plumage to personal pride doesn’t exist. When they lose, they recognize the merits of the adversary, and they have no problem doing so. This attitude makes them even bigger people, idols to the crowds, and an example to children and young people. Fair play, in the long term, leads to improving one’s playing level. It weakens and even gets rid of any negative energy. It moves one towards a state of internal well being, which helps support a self-love that will shine in one´s performance.
Being fair play is not an obligation, rather it is a choice, a choice necessary if what one want is to become a true PLAYER (with capital letters).
Coach Guillermo Minutella