On the heels of “Sundays With Purav”, “Chai With Raja” talks about topics more privy to Indian Tennis. “Chai With Raja” is a 7 part series coming your way to make your next seven Sundays exciting
Read the first episode here –
Episode 1 – Davis Cup
With just under 13 million dollars in prize money, this supreme tennis player was once a boy. He had a family and lived in the heart of Spain. He had to make a tough decision as a teen on whether to play Tennis or Football. He made a wise decision in hindsight, having won the Davis Cup last year as well as making the Wimbledon semi-finals.
What a life this young man must have is often the thought that comes to people’s minds. He travels the world, makes millions of dollars playing a sport he loves and gets to live the real dream of being a pro athlete and buying and spending on whatever he wants. This man is different. While he is one of the hardest working guys on tour, his family life is even more difficult.
RBA, as he is fondly called, in 2018, played the French Open third round and lost to Novak Djokovic in 4 tough sets ONE week after his mother tragically passed away. This is nothing short of extra ordinary. He is an absolute rock and even confessed after the match that it was tough to get on court after this but said he tries to keep his real life away from his court life. Speaking for myself, I struggle to get on court if anyone in my family is even unwell. We often forget these guys are human. Even Novak paid tribute to him after the match.
In 2019, he had a remarkable year breaking into the top 10 of the men’s singles world rankings and really establishing that number 2 Spaniard spot(behind Rafa Nadal and since David Ferrer). He reached the Wimbledon semi-finals. This was all happening while now his dad was ailing and suffering every day due to a fall. RBA mentioned to me in Lyon that his father never really recovered from his mother passing away and was on total bed rest. He has people to look after him at home and would spend as much time when he can take time off. He would be away 40 weeks a year and train 7 hours a day. A brutal task when managing his own tennis team, wife, staff at home and now his family.
Finally he got to play Davis Cup at home in Madrid last year. He won his first match and then received the news on his dad. His father passed away and he had to go home. RBA went home and the team missed him but somehow got through and made it to the finals 3 days later. Rafa was winning. However, they now had an issue at number two singles. This legend of a man finished the last rites, did the necessary paperwork as well as the funeral and CAME BACK to PLAY and WIN the finals for Spain. He came back three days later to lift the World Cup of Tennis for his country in his home city.
All I have is Respect and Admiration as RBA has taught me two of my biggest life lessons.
If you ever think the grass is greener on the other side – It Is certainly NOT!
And obviously, impossible is nothing 🙂
Priceless learnings and what a heart.Great champion you are RBA.Great piece of article Purav Raja.