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Arvi Krishnaswamy

Entrepreneur and Tech Executive

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Defeats never make you grow, but you also realise how difficult what I achieved up until today was, and this is something you need sometimes. You need a defeat to give the value to your victories. I must accept my defeats with the same level of calm that I accept my victories
—Rafael Nadal

I'm a huge fan of Roger Federer's silken game, but it is Rafael Nadal's mental maturity and ability to compartmentalize things that has blown me away in the recent past. During this year's Australian Open, he went from being a fierce competitor during the closing moments of the game to a gentle human being consoling Roger a few minutes later on the podium. For a 23 year old, he is ahead of his years, or at least way ahead of where I was at that age.

The quote on top of this post came from Rafa during the press interview following his shock loss to Robin Soderling at this year's French Open. History was at stake, with an opportunity to blow away Bjorn Borg's record by winning five straight Coupe des Mousquetaires and become undisputedly the greatest claycourter ever. Rafa was visibly upset after the game, waving away the oncourt interviewer after the game and rushing in for a shower. However, his comments during the interview were balanced, composed and almost philosophical. Like Rafa has said, at times, we need a defeat to give value to our victories and to remind us to cherish our achievements and possessions while still looking forward to the next challenges. This also reminded me of If, the well known and much parodied poem by Kipling

"If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same
"