Sunday, May 29, 2011

Winning in Tennis...and in Life


A good story to consider...

In the 1975 Masters Tennis Tournament in Stockholm, Sweden, tennis star, Arthur Ashe, was ahead 4-1 in the third and decisive set of his round-robin match with Romanian-born Ilie Nastase. Nastase was sometimes dubbed "Nasty" Nastase for his flamboyant on-court antics. Behind in the match, Nastase went into his act again, stalling and arguing, cursing, taunting, and acting like a madman. Finally, Arthur Ashe put down his racket and walked off the court, saying, "I've had enough. I'm at the point where I'm afraid I'll lose control." "But Arthur," cried the umpire, "You'll default the match." "I don't care," replied Ashe, "I'd rather lose that than my self-respect."

Agreeing that Nastase's unruly behavior had unfairly interrupted the match and driven Ashe to the sidelines, referee Horst Klosterkemper came up with a solution to the fiasco. He announced that Nastase was disqualified. He refused to condone Nastase's bullying tactics and he insisted that Nastase default the match for his unsportsman-like conduct. Arthur Ashe won both in the game of tennis…and in the game of life. He was a person who lived integrity…and it showed. He faced many struggles in his life, but he was respected to the day that he died…and to this day.


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