When God Plays Tennis

Jul
12
2012
by
Lynne McTaggart
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I live in London, where the annual Wimbledon Tennis Championship just ended Monday, and this particular year was witness to nothing short of a miracle.

On June 28, Rafael Nadal, the world number two in tennis, winner of 11 Grand Slam titles, fresh from a brilliant French Open triumph over Novak Djokovic a few weeks before, entered the court on the second round, ready to play a ho-hum game against a newcomer Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic.

I live in London, where the annual Wimbledon Tennis Championship just ended Monday, and this particular year was witness to nothing short of a miracle.

On June 28, Rafael Nadal, the world number two in tennis, winner of 11 Grand Slam titles, fresh from a brilliant French Open triumph over Novak Djokovic a few weeks before, entered the court on the second round, ready to play a ho-hum game against a newcomer Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic.

Nadal had reason to be sanguine. Seeded at number 100, winner of no professional titles, Rosol had struggled even to qualify for a tiny tournament in Eastbourne at Nadal’s same age of 26. Of the five matches he’d managed to play at Wimbledon prior to this year, he’d lost every single one. He was a self-professed clay-court player, who’d only actually played, and lost, a professional match on grass once before. At the Australian Open, he’d just managed to avoid the dreaded Triple Bagel: 0-6, 0-6, 0-6.

Starts out swinging
That day with Nadal, Rosol came out of the box swinging and played a fast initial game.  This time, it appeared, he was determined not to embarrass himself. He’d managed to keep the first set tight, with three set points, before Nadal finally finished it off as the victor.  Much as Rosol was prepared to put up a good fight, at that point it appears that Nadal – the powerhouse of the tennis courts – would naturally prevail.

The newcomer won the second and third sets – Nadal noted afterward that he wasn’t at the top of his game at first  – but then he recovered his stride and easily won the fourth.  It looked almost certain that the Wimbledon favorite – touted to win the championship for the third time this year – would win that final sudden death set, when something else began to take over in Rosol.  

In the last half hour of the game, Rosol played a game of tennis the likes of which even former champions like John MacEnroe said they’d never seen before. Nadal threw everything at him –breathtaking serves landing at his feet, killer spins, the whole dazzling works – and the Czech effortlessly returned them all, and at even greater speed. His serves were powerful and accurate and his follow-up flawless. Even the greatest have a few bad shots in every game, but for those 33 minutes Rosol did not put a single foot wrong.  

Transformational tennis
This was God playing tennis against Nadal, and, at times, like an outflanked platoon, Nadal appeared ready to simply to throw down his racket and throw up his hands.

Rosol finished up the final set with a killer forehand and three consecutive aces, and when he realized that final ace had won him the game, he dropped to his knees and rolled over face down in the grass in utter astonishment.

The most extraordinary aspect of the performance is that Rosol has no idea exactly how he pulled it off.  He hadn’t set his sights high; he hoped just to play three halfway decent sets so that he could avoid another Triple Bagel.  

As he describes it, at times he felt something akin to an out-of-body experience: ‘I didn’t feel pain.  I didn’t feel anything.  I was in a trance a little bit. It’s a miracle.’

When The Field takes over
Rosol’s inhuman performance interests me greatly because it illustrates those rare moments when someone is somehow able to access information and ability far greater than that within their normal range or experience.  

This is not simply a case of getting into ‘the zone.’  This is an instance when person is perfectly at one with The Field.  This is a moment when you experience the genius of pure unity with all knowledge and all knowing, where you no longer are in the driving seat — where, indeed, ‘you’ no longer exist.

People experience it during moments of near-death experience, but also during moments of pure genius.

Rosol did not repeat his stunning performance in the next round at Wimbledon, but lost handily to a German veteran of Wimbledon, Philipp Kohlschreiber.

He may spend his life trying to figure out what on earth happened out there on the courts with Nadal, what it was within him that was able to summon up this one perfect masterclass in tennis. It might even ruin him  – the knowledge that his best performance was a chimera that has come and gone, never to be repeated again.

But the point is, we all have the potential channel, this access to extraordinary power and ability.  All we need to do is learn how to move out of the way, at which point The Field will take over.  

But that’s the hard part:  having the good sense to get out of the way.

Lynne McTaggart

Lynne McTaggart is an award-winning journalist and the author of seven books, including the worldwide international bestsellers The Power of Eight, The Field, The Intention Experiment and The Bond, all considered seminal books of the New Science and now translated into some 30 languages.

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