Sports are cruel. And unforgiving. You lose a step, lose some power, lose...whatever, you're done. Washed up. Time to move on. You're shelf life is remarkably short. At least at the top of the profession.
Most careers, the more experience the better. And this is true of sports to certain degree. But the life span is so much shorter.
This brings me to tennis and more specifically Roger Federer and Venus Williams. And even more specifically the 2014 Australian Open. The fun slam.
Venus exited in a tough first round loss to Ekaterina Makarova in three sets. Now this was no upset by any means. Makarova is the number 22 seed and Venus was unseeded.
Venus has some health problems and is but a shell of her former self when she was queen of Wimbledon.
Federer is not the Federer the past few years. He many not even really be a part of the Big Four now. Age has caught up with him. And the likes of Rafael Nadal , Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have passed him by.
But he's still Roger Federer. Still moves elegantly. Can still pull off shots that others don't even think of.
What do these former champions have in common?
Both are asked when it will be time to hang up rackets (at least on the main tour). For Venus it's quite obvious why. Her health is preventing her from attaining the level in which she was once accustomed. She can still play at a high level, in spurts, but consistency is a problem.
For Federer, he is no longer the dominant player he once was. One who could be counted on to reach the semi-finals of every major. The player for whom winning only one major in a calendar year was ho-hum.
But, you know what? Both of these players love to compete. And I, for one, think they should continue to do so as long as they want.
Sure, both are in the twilights of their respective careers. Venus can still win some singles matches and along with her sister, Serena Williams, form one of the most formidable doubles teams in the world.
Roger has flashes of the old Federer. As long as those flashes are still there, hope remains for one more major title.
Until the day comes when these two decide to retire, just enjoy. Let them go out when they deem it the right time. It is not ours to decide.