ACTION REPLAY

Here we are again! He’s done it – a 20th Grand Slam title for Roger Federer. And a 6th Australian Open, to equal Roy Emerson’s record. Emmo was another of my sporting heroes. He won the Wimbledon Championships in 1964 and 1965 and then, during the 1966 quarter final, crashed into the umpire’s chair and injured himself – and that was the end of a possible trio of consecutive titles in SW19.

How can watching a fuzzy yellow (or white in the olden days) tennis ball be so engrossing? Well, it wouldn’t be if it were me hitting it. But when the ball is tossed into the air and hit by an expert it becomes a thing of beauty to behold. It’s the same with other ball sports. Watch JPR Williams or Gareth Edwards with a rugby ball, George Best or Bobby Charlton with a football, Ronnie O’Sullivan with a snooker ball, Jeff Thomson or James Anderson with a cricket ball.

When a ball is in the hands of someone who is skilled and has a passion for what they’re doing, expect something special to happen. We marvel at Roger Federer. He works hard and enjoys what he does. But in the end it’s only a game and his prowess, sad to say, really won’t last forever. Far more awesome are the ‘hands’ that shaped the universe. If you believe in God, you’ll marvel at his skill, passion, ingenuity and love – and not a fuzzy ball in sight.

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