The past week has been the retirement week. Either sports-persons are taking it, rubbishing it, thinking it or are just talking about it. It the hardest thing for an athlete to let go off: his career, just like any professional and its even harder when you’re asked “So how do you feel?” But that inevitable time nevertheless catches up and before one realizes the young days become times to remember the sport and the player by.
When Kim Clijsters lost to 18 year old Laura Robson, she still had her doubles and mixed doubles to count on but when both of those gave the same result, it was time to officially declare her exit from the court. She bid farewell to a sport that she started playing ever since she was a little girl but she leaves with a smile and not a tinge of regret or sorrow.
Then there is Andrew Strauss who also announced his retirement last week. The England Captain curved and carved the team into being the best test team in the world, improved their rankings, performances and bettered his own records and statistics meanwhile. There were tremors that his retirement option had relations to the controversy that took place betwen him and Kevin Pietersen a couple weeks ago. He denied all such talks and said that it was his own fitness that he made it necessary to take such a decision.
Then there is Serena Williams who says that she has reached 30 but there is not a single, slightest thought of retirement on her mind as of yet. And why would there be? Winning the Olympics finals, and cruising through the US Open, she gives no reason to doubt her fitness or her ability to continue playing. The same went for Andy Roddick who has been asked this question several times now. Roddick said that he still has a lot of tennis to play and retirement is just on the cards right now. He too displayed a phenomenal performance at the Olympics, quieting down rumors of his retirement.
For the experienced players who are still sticking around, each another win will buy them more time and a single loss would stir up the retirement rumors once again. With the racket and their bats hanging over their heads like swords, this is probably the last stretch of play they will want to conquer before the time of waving goodbye actually comes.