This is the seventh installment of Dr. Tom Ferraro’s “The Tennis Guru” series. Click Here to read the first parts.
Immediately upon repeating the magic words “TIMIN” three times, Yin fell into a deep sleep and just as Rebecca had told him, he found himself in a vivid dream. He was walking out of a parking lot towards the magnificently domed All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, home of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. Apparently, he was one of the players competing. He looked down at his clothing and he saw he was all in white and carrying his tennis bag filled with rackets, bottled water, sneakers and tape. He walked towards the player’s entrance and two gatekeepers opened the doors for him to enter, giving evidence that they knew and respected him.
They both bowed and said, “Good morning sir, best of luck today.”
He found his way to the locker room and sat down in front of a locker with his name on it. As he was putting on his sneakers he looked up and saw Roger Federer walk in wearing his white, uber-cool UNIQLO outfit with red head and wrist bands.
Federer winked at him and said, “Hey Yin, good luck today. Let’s have a good match. And please, no temper tantrums.”
Yin was baffled by all this and next he heard an official walk into the locker room and announce, “Gentleman, it is time to play your match. Please follow me.”
Roger led the way, and as he walked onto center court he was greeted with a roar from the crowd as they set eyes on their beloved champion. When Yin entered, he heard but a smattering of applause and some snickers.
He looked up to the stands and in amazement he saw a young John McEnroe with red curly hair and red headband. Seated right next to him was Bjorn Borg with his flowing main of blond hair looking like a rock star. Next to him were the Williams sisters and then came Andre Agassi, and Jimmy Connors. They all were shouting to Roger, bantering and seemed to be cheering Roger on which made Yin feel even more invisible than before. Roger just looked up at them and smiled.
Before you knew it, the match got under way and was tied at two-sets all with Yin serving at four-all in the final set. Victory was now in sight, but Yin proceeded to double fault four times and walked in shame and rage to his chair as they switched sides. He heard more laughs from the crowd and he lost control, smashing a water bottle at his feet. With this the crowd started to boo him, which infuriated him even more, and he took his racket and gauged a large chunk of turf out of the ground and then broke his racket over his knee. With the crowd became silent and the referee said, “One more outburst and you will be disqualified, sir.”
Yin returned to his seat and heard the booing get louder. He was about to walk off the court and then he turned toward the people seated in the player’s box and saw Rebecca smiling at him and sending him a feeling of warmth and safety. Suddenly, his rage and shame were replaced by calmness, confidence and cool.
With that he rose from his chair like a new man and proceeded to break Federer in the next game to even the set at five-all, and then won his service game and the tiebreaker to win the Men’s finals.
As the applause mounted he turned to Rebecca, ran over to the player’s box and climbed the wall to embrace her as he had seen so many champions do. As he hugged Rebecca she whispered in his ear, “So now you know the magic power of love. Never forget this moment Yin.”
And then she kissed him on the forehead and her lips burned his skin, leaving a small scar that would come to intimidate all opponents who faced him thereafter.
He awoke from the dream and looked up into Rebecca’s eyes as she bent down and kissed him on the forehead. She told him to keep silent about the dream and that its mark would never leave his soul and would become his secret weapon.
Yin asked Rebecca:
“How does all this work?”
She smiled at him and said, “In time you will see what this means. Be patient Yin and now let us proceed up the mountain.”
To be continued…