One thing about having my left arm in a sling (and still with the pain, in spite of alternating between aspirin and acetaminophen every 3 to 6 hours), is that for the first time ever I've been watching the U.S. Open without too much guilt. Still some, but not as much as in the past.
So today, rooting for Serena all the way, I watched Roberta Vinci beat her in the semifinal, and I was crushed. Not as much as Serena was, obviously, and what struck me was the courtesy with which she handled the inane questions from the "press" right after the match.
Some started off with the usual stupid question: Can you tell us how disappointed you are? Serena gave the perfect reply: "I don't want to answer any questions about how disappointed I feel. If you have any other questions, I'll be able to answer them." And she went on answering for a good 10 minutes longer. Brave woman.
It reminded me of a press conference she had to participate in after the quarterfinal. So many questions, so many of them idiotic and undoubtedly maddening to Serena, or anyone. Finally someone asked her why she wasn't smiling. She said (paraphrasing), "Well, it's 12:30 in the morning, and I'm tired, and I have to get up early tomorrow to practice, and you all ask the same questions all the time..."
Now, for what Roberta Vinci said after her amazing win, replying to the usual set of inane questions, this time about what she said to herself, how she powered through and won even when she was down in the second set, and kept on even facing break points in the third set:
"Put the ball in the court, and then run. Run. Run."
A great philosophy for all of life, not just tennis.