A hefty thwack and the tennis ball hits you on the thigh – at 134 miles an hour. Ouch. But… as the commentator put it, “It’s a bruise she’ll cherish.” For that mighty hit came at full pelt from the racket of Feliciano Lopez earlier today and was received by a ball girl. Was it worth it? The sting hurt, the bruise will come out tomorrow and, if she chooses to, she can show off the yellow and purple patch to her friends. “This was from the Queen’s champion!” Yes, today, after years of trying, Lopez finally held aloft the enormous Queen’s cup for all to see.

I watched Lopez on the practice court at Queen’s in 2009 (See photos in Photo Gallery) and wrote this:

Languid eyes
sharp shots
from sweet spot
smooth serves
sliced strokes
sheer strength
deliciano Feliciano

I repeat it here – just to show that, eight years later, he’s still the same… except better. He’s now 35 years old, the same age as Federer. Both are considered ‘old’ to be tennis champions. Don’t write off the old! Note the determination, hard work, perseverance and hope that these old champions demonstrate. Lopez feared he’d lose in the final set tie-break but he kept his head, concentrated on the next shot – and won through. That’s tennis. You win some, you lose some. That’s life too. We don’t go through life without inflicting bruises and receiving bruises, but we can work at seeing them as part of the full life that is to be cherished – whatever our age. Be encouraged.

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