29 June 2010

Chicken-catcher Lu rules the roost

( 圖片取自 Wimbledon官方網站 )

原文翻譯自Wimbledon 官方網站


Chicken farming's loss, then, is tennis's gain. After Yen-Hsun Lu had caused the biggest upset of the 2010 Wimbledon championships, knocking out Andy Roddick, last year's finalist, 9-7 in the fifth set, he spoke not of dreams coming true or of dreams yet to be realised. No, he spoke of chickens. He can catch them, you know.

離開養雞場,卻在網球界發光發亮。在盧彥勳以第五盤9-7的成績,為2010年溫度敦球賽締造最大的憾事---踢走Andy Roddick ( 上屆亞軍 )---之後,他談的不是夢想成真、或是夢想尚未實踐,而是滿口養雞場的事:他抓得住亂跑的雞。

It seems that Mr Lu is a man of many talents. From the relatively lowly ranking position of the world's No.82, he outplayed Roddick for more than 4 ½ hours. Despite never having got beyond the third round in a major championship before, he played like a seasoned Grand Slam veteran.


It was a match he never believed he could win, but it was one he always knew he would fight for. And fight he did.


"I still thinking when I was going to the final set, I just tell myself, I have to fight," he said. "Because I know in the fifth set, there is no tie-break, and he has a better serve. So I just tell myself, 'if I can stay longer, longer, longer, then probably something happens'. And finally then I waited [for a] last chance to close the match.

「我還在想當比賽進入最後一盤的時候,我告訴我自己,我必須奮戰。」他說︰「因為我知道在第五盤沒有搶七,而且他 (Roddick) 的發球會更強勁。所以我就告訴我自己:『如果我可以撐久一點、久一點、再久一點,也許某些奇妙的事情會發生。』最後,我等到了機會,結束了這場比賽。」

"But I tell you, fifth set, I don't believe I can win because he's better server than me. But I just tell myself, even if I don't believe, I have to fight."

「但我告訴你,第五盤我並不相信我會贏,因為他 (Roddick) 的發球比我好,但我告訴我自己,即使我不相信,我也要戰。」

But when it was over, he was briefly downcast. Proud, but still sad. He had started playing tennis 18 years ago when he and his father decided to learn together. Although not a coach, Lu's father still guided his son's career and supported him through thick and thin, advising him and helping him until he turned professional in 2000. But that same year, Mr Lu senior died and so never saw what his son could go on to achieve. And beating Roddick was the greatest achievement to date.


"I'm really upset because my father's already passed away," Lu said. "I make this result. I'm really proud of myself to share this victory with him [his father] in the sky. I hope he sees this match.


"So, in that moment, I just sit and tell myself, I done it. I done it for my father. I done it for myself also. I done it for all the people support me. I'm just upset that I done it, and he wasn't with me. That's why I'm just very sad about this. But today I think he's here and he is also very happy for me."


His family would be hugely proud if he were to beat Novak Djokovic in the next round, too. Lu has no idea what will happen on Wednesday but he does know that he will give it everything he has got. Well, it worked against Roddick, after all.

如果盧彥勳能在下一輪比賽裡擊敗Novak Djokovic,他家人也會感到無比的驕傲。盧彥勳不知道星期三的賽事將會如何,但他知道他將全力以赴。畢竟他已擊敗了Roddick。

"I know the next opponent is Djokovic," he said, quietly. "Also is very great player. I don't know how far I can play. I cannot tell you. But I can tell you if I have a chance to step on the court, I will fight in the end."


But back to the chickens. Lu's father had worked in the live chicken business, supplying the birds to butchers and food outlets. As a young man, Lu had helped out his father but decided it was not a job for him, even if he did learn a few of the tricks of the trade.


"I can catch a chicken," he said with a huge smile. "I can show you. Yeah, serious. I can catch a chicken. I don't really like because smell really bad. But I know it is very tough work. They are always working between 1am to 6am, like very early. That time the chicken cannot run away because they cannot see."


Fortunately for Wimbledon, Lu soon decided that tennis was a much better way to make a living and now, although he is 26, he is getting better with every year. Last season he spent a couple of months working with Mark Woodforde, one half of the Woodies doubles partnership, and that helped his volleying. This year, he hired an Argentine fitness coach to prepare for his trip to Europe.

對溫布敦來說也許是件好事,盧彥勳很快就決定網球是個更好的出路。雖然他現在26歲了,但他一年比一年好。上一季他花了幾個月的時間受教於Mark Woodforde ( 著名的「the Woodies」雙打之一 ) ,幫助他的擊球技巧。今年盧彥勳僱用了阿根廷的健身教練,好準備這次的歐洲之行。

"We were training really hard for three and a half weeks to prepare for these tournaments," Lu said. "And also he used the new system. It is a different training programme, that makes my legs a little bit stronger. So I can jump higher, I can serve better."


And the hand-eye co-ordination learned chasing chickens probably did not come amiss, either.


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