Strat.in welcomes Shantan Rao, a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University, USA. He is a passionate blogger and writes on a variety of topics. His interests in writing lie around learning real world lessons or deriving inspiration from the world of sport, Google and its great business model, ecommerce strategies, and management breakthroughs. He also has a personal blog that was ranked as high as no 9 on the internet in the humour category.
While the world is celebrating Roger Federer’s first ever French Open and his record equaling heroics, I stopped to think a little on a more philosophical note. Much to the chagrin of Federer fans, I am of the view that Federer didnt explicitly conquer his final frontier- coutesy the lack of the Nadal factor!
Here is my take on it.
Rafael Nadal winning 4 of his first 4 career French Opens back to back, and beating the world class Federer on clay 3 years in a row, is clearly the king of clay and Roland Garros.
And greatness lies in defeating a king in his own backyard.
Look at Nadal.
Not just did he keep the French Open crown for 4 years, but each time he defeated Federer.
In 2005, he defeated Federer in the semifinals.
In 2006, 2007, 2008 he defeated Federer in the finals, and truly established himself as the king of clay.
Well…what makes it interesting is this:
With 5 consecutive Wimbledon titles from 2003 onwards, Federer is truly the king of grass.
And Federer it was whom Nadal defeated to lift Wimbledon iin 2008!
Thats a sign of greatness. Beating the king in his own kingdom.
Federer was lucky to have been avoided a clash against Nadal. I wouldnt take away anything from his staking claim to be the greatest tennis player ever. But had he defeated Nadal to lift the French Open trophy, it would be have been a victory suitable for the knights of the highest battlefield.
Greatness lies in beating the king in his own kingdom….beating the master at his own game.
Look at examples from the world of business:
* Google is trying to attack Microsoft by strategically positioning its online office tools as an alternative to MS Office and possibly Windows in the near future!
* Microsoft swept Netscape off its feet buying plotting IE right against Netscape’s nose!
* BCCI created the IPL directly nullifying the monetary and creative pursuits of the pioneering ICL.
* We hear Apple is trying to enter the ebook reader market with a possible application for the iphone: a direct play to cut into Amazon’s Kindle.
There are more examples I could think of.
What do you guys think?