When Mario Ancic defeated Roger Federer in the first round of Wimbledon 2002, he must have had no inkling that he had created a name for himself in the history books which would run for the course of the next six years...
"The last man to defeat Federer" became an unofficial tag line to his name as he propelled himself to open the floodgates of the sport to his credit; the trained eye of the critics starting to focus on him...he became the new kid on the block, as the popular saying goes or rather, if we sit to reflect now...he was "the (I am almost there) new kid on the block."
Nicknamed "Baby Goran" in the hope that he would re-create what Goran did, perhaps even inch beyond the maverick hero; Mario was betrayed and deprived time and again, to what could very well construe as a normal and decent professional career.
His playing career, pockmarked by injuries, has been a major setback to the gangly Croat; while his peers battled on-court rivalry most of the time, he has been engaged in a battle with his physical self more often than nought.
His professional life can be best summarised as being "intermittent"; one gets to see flashes of his game, before injury enfolds him in it's wake and forces him to literally abstain from the sport, not to mention the resulting fluctuation in his ranking standings which oscillates to extreme proportions.
Yet, in spite of such debilitating contributors, Ancic has managed to deliver some brilliant display of tennis; his achievements which though, are not that amassing in nature, are enough to make one wonder and question about the possibility of whether he would have been able to win a few Masters and perhaps even a Slam or two, had injury not been such a dominant factor in his professional graph?
Was there any chance of a rivalry between him and his other peers which got snapped and pulled from the root, thanks to the unwanted element in his tennis scrap book?
But these thoughts are quelled, for no one knows what could have actually happened; whether he would have been as successful as some might have pegged him to be or he would have ended up being a withering talent, lost and dissipated...just like that!
At present, Mario Ancic is still out there persistently battling his highly susceptible and injury prone body, but knowing that a person can endure only so much, the future at this juncture, doesn't really look that arresting for the Croat.
With competitors who are physically more tougher and unhampered by frequent injury burdens like him, Mario Ancic has a huge task cut out if he wants to bag a more pressing second chance to resurrect his career.
For, though he is not old by any standards at 25, he is definitely not young too to gamble and take too many chances...whatever dream he might have once envisioned and lost due to those unplanned guests, they are not coming back to reality again.
It's up to him now, whenever he gets a second round at the Roulette wheel to play as best as he can and create new dreams and success in the process.
PS: Article Inspired by Clarabella Bevis's article on tennis players' injuries; Thank You Bella.