What an epic tennis match it was on Sunday night. Australian Open final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Roger and Rafa at their best, this time Roger won and I must admit I was barracking for him. I equally enjoyed his speech and his post match interviews. Few gems:
What do King Federer and Emperor Marcus Aurelius have in common?
In a culture of “winner takes all”, it was a breath of fresh air to hear Federer say:
“Tennis is a tough sport and we don’t have draws but if I could have shared it today with Rafa I would have taken a draw“.
This reminded me of the power sharing story of Marcus Aurelius, the last of the Five Good Emperors of Rome. He was one of the two adopted sons of emperor Aurelius Antonius (or Antonius Pius) who did not have any sons of his own and had named Marcus as his successor. Marcus, already a talented and highly educated young man at 17, became a close companion and colleague of emperor Antonius and was trained in all arts of government for 23 years. When Antonius died (161 CE), Marcus succeeded him as emperor and although the senate planned to confirm him alone, he refused to take office unless the other adopted son and his step brother Lucius Verus received equal powers. The senate accepted, and in this manner Rome ended up being governed by two co-emperors for the first time.