9-11 and the 2016 U.S. Tennis Open

I remember September 11, 2001 like it was yesterday. I walked into my first class at Miami Sunset Senior High School embracing my senior year and then suddenly every class room in the school had their TV’s tuned to the horror that was unraveling in New York. That day will never be forgotten, and the efforts to save lives inspired myself and so many others to put in the extra effort into their lives and appreciate those in their lives.

Stan Wawrinka on September 11th 2016 became an inspiration to the tennis community, Americans, and the world. Going into the match Stan had played twice as much tennis as Novak Djokovic and was facing arguably the most formidable foe in the history of the game. Stan started the match nervous and uneasy, but unlike many others in today’s day and age his fight and will-power never wavered. Stan has, “Ever tried Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better” tattooed on one forearm and his daughter’s name tattooed on the other forearm to inspire him and give him purpose in his daily routines. Stan’s constant positive outburst like a gladiator was inspiring to all those that watched on this important day. Djokovic and Murray constantly scream and berate their box of coaches and staff during negative moments in a match. Stan on the other hand would point towards his head to give his coach Magnus Norman credit for the mental strength that he has given him to play his best tennis in big moments, which again makes any person watching the match admire Stan that much more.

On such an important day Stan Wawrinka inspired us to appreciate and give credit to those that help us; to fight and claw for every opportunity presented to us, and if we do that then great and somewhat unthinkable things could happen. The mind is still the most powerful tool of all even in the sport of tennis.

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About the author: Eric Hechtman is Tennis Director at Royal Palm Tennis Club, located in Pinecrest, Florida, Miami-Dade County. As well as running the teaching programs at Royal Palm, Eric was named USTA Junior Competitive Coach of the Year 2013.

Hechtman is a hitting partner for Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Venus Williams and Serena Williams. Eric enjoys teaching all levels but specializes in fitness, technique and strategy at the intermediate to advance level.

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