In everyone’s lifetime, struggle and hard work climbs up to a point where success finally reaches its pinnacle and then comes the dreaded, downward slope. And it is precisely the point right after all the accolades where that very downfall must be predicted. We call it retirement.
But retirement is usually associated with the ‘best end’, where we are supposed to have all the luck to our favor, all praises and all wins. But what happens when the final end is just not the ideal end? Retirement blues really get out showing.
Just a couple days ago, Kim Clijsters announced her retirement after a loss in the mixed doubles. But that wasn’t the only loss she suffered. She had earlier lost her singles as well as the doubles matches in Flushing Meadows and even though Clijsters says she doesn’t regret a thing, a win marking the end of her career just may have made it a little more memorable. She admitted that she herself was surprised at the fact there were not waterworks on her behalf, referring to her retirement over loss. The world knew this was it. The US Open tournament 2012 was the last of professional tennis Clijsters will ever play and bidding farewell after winning four grand slam titles can never be easy. Of course what matters is the worthy journey that she took ever since she started playing. The matches, the cheers, appraisal and acknowledgement is what makes up a sportsman’s life and so did she and does. But on the inside, she was surely wishing for a winning end.
Andy Roddick’s finale was similar game-wise, but completely different emotion-wise. He too lost his last game against Juan Del Potro but when it was time to bid adieu, Andy Roddick was all tears. 30 years old, giving his game all he had right from the very beginning and now leaving it all behind with pride and nostalgia. It was just too overwhelming to even try and control. And the last loss didn’t matter one bit.
“You’re thinking about matches you’re playing when you’re 12 or you’re thinking about – you know, I was thinking about my mom driving me to practices all over the place. You just think about a million things. Then all of a sudden you have to play a point against one of the best players in the world.”
How the game ends defines how one would sleep that night, but for Roddick and Clijsters, it’s a career full of reminiscences, achievements, and applaud which will sound their entire lives.