The Federer Model

In that dull yet strangely tense lull between Wimbledon and the US Open at Flushing Meadows, the performance and potential of the top tennis names are always volleyed about in the media.

Fifth seed Roger Federer is more aware of this than anyone. With 7 Wimbledon titles under his hairband and tens of others, the eminent Swiss ace is under close scrutiny in his twilight years.

After 3 years of government, Cameron’s administration is just about to enter the same stage, before hardcore campaigning commences for the 2015 general elections.

Roger Federer was never going to remain contained within the box. With ostensible talent emanating from his lengthy hair, he had the world watching him with hawk eyes ever since his early victories in the late 20th century. Cameron, after scrambling to leadership of the Conservatives in 2005, has also been under intense public scrutiny.

With Federer winning slam after slam, Cameron too won victory after victory in the Commons. Whilst Rafa Nadal posed the first real threat to Federer, however, Cameron’s nemesis is not the obvious opponent – rather his hitting partners; Europe, the Liberal Democrats, and his own party.

Therein is the start of the discrepancy. Where Federer thrives on competition, Cameron inevitably is degraded. Although both have undergone barren periods (even, perhaps, both in 2011 and 2013), Federer’s grace has borne him through with minimal damage, whereas ungraceful politicians suffer indelible, chronic inflictions.

The Roger Federer Foundation provides children in Ethiopia, Malawi, Zambia and others with an education to lead them into career paths aimed at developing their country in the face of international competition. On the other hand, successive governments alter and damage the educational system so often that very often students are not prepared for life at an international level. When Gove proposed reforms to bring the UK up to the standard of other progressive states, it was decried by the opposition, as opposed to the efforts of the Foundation being supported by great rivals such as Nadal.

And when it comes to the end of a politician’s time in the limelight, perhaps they should look to the Schweizer; hone practice and make the last few wins the most important (Wimbledon 2012), maintain grace, and get a new haircut.


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