Ken Rosewall was at the French Open final today and presented the trophy to… yes, Rafael Nadal. It was Rafa’s 11th French Open title. Ken Rosewall, who won the French Open Singles twice, first played at Roland Garros aged 17 and was there 63 years later to give the cup to Nadal. Runner-up, Dominic Thiem, first went to Roland Garros aged 11 to watch… Rafael Nadal! There was something rather wonderful about seeing the different generations of tennis come together, united in their love and prowess for the game.
I first saw Ken Rosewall at Wimbledon in the 1960s. I interviewed him some three decades later at Hurlingham in a pre-Wimbledon special event and he was kind enough to let me pose for a photo with him. At that event the upcoming newcomer on the tennis scene was Greg Rusedski who, today, was in the TV studio giving expert analysis on the match between Nadal and Thiem.
How fascinating it is to see the respect that successive generations of players have for each other. I wonder whether there is that same respect, generosity, kindness and love within our families across the generations. It may be challenging at times, just as tennis matches are challenging, but it’s surely worth working at. Just as each tennis player in every generation has a unique personality and style and skills, so each member of a family has something to contribute which commands the respect and love of everyone else.