January 16, 2013 by Parveer Mann
In the first few rounds of a Grand Slam like the Australian Open, there is a high probability of a mismatch. The world’s best are often drawn against players who are just starting out or are ranked well outside the Top 100. This leads to results that can be lopsided and in Tennis, the most lopsided a set can get will result in a bagel.
In this context, bagels are not the fantastic baked good that is a breakfast staple but when a player wins a set 6-0. If a player can do it for two sets, it is the known as the even rarer double bagel. The 2013 Australian Open has already seen a few double bagels in the first three days of competitive action.Serena Williams, 15-time Grand Slam champion won her first round match over Edina Gallovits-Hall, 6-0 6-0 and Maria Sharapova, world number two has won both her first two rounds in double bagel fashion. The first time that has occurred in a Grand Slam in 28 years!
Is it better to lose in a blowout or suffer a close call?
As a recreational athlete, I have seen both sides of a loss. I’ve had games where nothing seemed to be going right and I knew within the first few minutes that I’d lose rather convincingly. Also, I’ve been in matches where I’ve fought hard throughout the game and have had one play or moment that doesn’t go my way and results in a loss. Now, I know that both efforts have resulted in a loss but does the manner in which I lost have an impact on my psyche or development as a person or athlete. Does losing narrowly allow the person to learn more about themselves and how they can do better the next time?
This debate can be applied to a close election, a missed job opportunity or any venture where you ‘lose’ out on what you hoped to achieve. So I ask, does it matter if you lose by a lot or narrowly lose? Do you learn more from one than the other? All I know for certain is that I don’t want to be Maria Sharapova’s next opponent!