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Two Great Tennis Players

October 27, 2008

His childhood was a huge tragedy. Even before he was born, three of his older siblings died. When he was barely 18, his mother died. Three years later, his father and brother died. At the young age of 22, he was the only survivor of a once big family.

He was encouraged to play Tennis by a relative, who considered it to be a form of therapy for his grief.

Five years later, he became the first American player to win a tournament at Wimbledon, in England. In the 1920’s he dominated the sport of Tennis like no one else. He won seven US Championships, three Wimbledon titles. In fact, his form was so good during his peak that he won 57 games in a row.

He was Bill Tilden, one of the greatest Tennis players of all time.


When he was barely 6 years, his mother passed away. To avoid his loneliness, he started playing Tennis. It did not take a long time for him to come to the main stage. In 1969, he won both US Open and the Davis Cup for his country. Yet, in that year, he was denied entrance to a South African tournament because he was black. He then started using his star status to help African American people to achieve equality. He also won the Wimbledon on a come back effort.

In 1980, he had a heart stroke; in the hospital during surgery, he was given HIV infected blood. He contacted AIDS. Still, for 13 years, he fought to bring awareness about AIDS worldwide.

One of his fans wrote a letter asking him that while there were five hundred billion people on the planet, why God chose him for the deadly disease? To which, he replied – “Every year fifty million people start playing Tennis, 50000 people come to the circuit, 5000 reach the Grand slams, 50 reach Wimbledon, 4 to the semi-finals, 2 to the finals and only one player among all wins the title. When I was holding the Cup (After winning the Wimbledon), I never asked God “Why me?”. And today in pain too, I should not be asking God, “Why me?”  

He was Arthur Ashe, another renowned Tennis player of his time.

It is from these great people that we must take inspiration. Not the hero’s and heroine’s of Bollywood.

Destination Infinity

14 Comments leave one →
  1. October 28, 2008 11:59 am

    I really don’t know who they are but hats off to the message given by them………………every one should realize this………………….

  2. October 29, 2008 2:41 pm

    Arthur Ashe , a great tennis player indeed……but was also a great human being …….. The reply that he gave to his fan is very very inspiring ……. dignifies the fact that “Every dark cloud has a silver lining” ……. The key of being happy : “Never look at what you don’t have…..Always look at what you have”……..

  3. October 29, 2008 4:17 pm

    have heard about both of them but the first time i am coming across their life history…super post!

  4. October 29, 2008 4:37 pm

    Nice post!!
    Have heard of Arthur Ash, but not Bill Tilden…
    Very inspiring post!!

  5. October 29, 2008 8:05 pm

    great post..
    Arthur Ashe sure is legend..

    Didn’t know much about Bill Tilden.. good to know now 🙂

  6. October 30, 2008 4:00 pm

    Hey YU, sorry for being inactive fr so long…hope u guys haven’t forgotten me 😛

    Very inspiring…….I guess this is all that is to determination and hard work 🙂

  7. October 31, 2008 1:16 am

    great post….never heard but now I knw thank you 🙂

  8. November 1, 2008 8:48 pm

    @Aravind: There are a lot of people like this, whose lives are inspirational. In our fast paced world, we don’t bother to know much about them. I wish more bloggers could write on such inspirational personalities so that we all could get to know and learn more.

    @Harsh: The reply which he gave to his fan also makes us think! I mean, we are in the world where people are bound to think that they were special because they are rich or beautiful or talented etc…. Here is one person, who worked so hard to develop his talents and was at the peak of fame at his times but still so humble and not taken away by his success. I really respect that quality and his justification.

    @Vishesh: Actually I forgot the name of Arthur Ashe, and I was googling the quote, as I remembered the quote vaguely. As usual google was on spot with the search results and it gave me another inspirational example too. Thanks to google.

    @Kaddu: Bill Tildens example especially is very inspiring. After such a big tragedy, instead of blaming on God that he has been unduly disadvantaged, what he went on to do is inspiring.

    @Sandeep: Yeah, it was good to know about Bill Tilden for me too…. I wish more bloggers would bring such examples forward and publish them.

    @Meghna: It is not only determination and hardwork. A lot of people are determined and hard working. But even after reaching the pinnacle of success, their humility was indeed inspiring.

    @Sahaja: There is a quote by Winston Churchill – “Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm”. If one of the most successful statesman of his times (Not forgetting to mention his victory against Hitler in the World war and a lot of hobbies that he developed) had to say like this about success, imagine about our perception on success! There are a lot of things we could learn from history and and I wish more bloggers explore on that.

    Destination Infinity

  9. November 1, 2008 10:38 pm

    Very nice post.

  10. November 1, 2008 10:46 pm

    watch this video

  11. November 2, 2008 10:43 am

    very inspiring post !

  12. November 3, 2008 5:33 pm

    It is from these great people that we must take inspiration. Not the hero’s and heroine’s of Bollywood.

    Rightly said!

    The story of Arthur Ashe is one of the most inspiring ones.

  13. November 3, 2008 11:53 pm

    Yes, not only stories of people who inspire us to live life they way we should, but also of people who inspire us to live life exactly as we are not supposed to. There are lessons to be learn everywhere.

  14. November 16, 2008 9:01 am

    Thanks for the video Reema, that was good.

    Inspiration is one thing and accepting it is another, Meghna.

    I don’t have anything against bollywood per se Priya,but some people do take the reel ch. seriously. Even though there have been excellent movies like Tzp, Chak de, Taxi 9211,etc. they are still fiction.

    There are definitely lessons to be learnt, Kapil. But there are certain good traits in bad people and bad traits in good people.

    Destination Infinity

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