While it may be challenging, it may be advantageous to maintain a friendly relationship with a professional opponent.

One of the tournament’s most moving moments occurred during the women’s semifinal match between Ons Jabeur and Tatjana Maria at the 2022 Wimbledon tennis championships. Jabeur is even known as “Auntie Ons” to Maria’s children and has talked about her love for her rival. Ons Jabeur claims that Tatjana’s family is wonderful and that she adores them a great deal. Nothing in the competition to reach the Grand Slam final changed that, and both athletes honored one another’s accomplishments following Jabeur’s triumph. Maria claims that they both knew they would play their hearts out and that they would stick together afterward. It could be challenging to build and maintain a close friendship with a rival in your field. 

Furthermore, whether the competition motivates you to perform to the best of your ability or makes you feel self-conscious and limits your success will depend on your personality and the nature of your relationship with your rival. Even if this is a topic that has not received much attention, psychological research can help us comprehend how rivalry impacts our relationships and our performance. These studies can also offer us some guidance that could improve our relationships with our competitors.