limousine ridin’, lear jet flyin’, kiss stealin’, wheelin’ dealin’, stylin’ and profilin’ son of a gun world’s best tennis player

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I wasn’t a fan of Infinite Jest but this piece on Roger Federer for the New York Times by David Foster Wallace is wonderful. And the footnotes don’t annoy us this time. He captures perfectly why Roger is the Ric Flair of our generation. Roger truly embodies the ethos behind the statement Flair said so elegantly and forcefully, “All the women want to be with me, all the men want to be like me!”.

Here’s a great excerpt:

In the same emphatic, empirical, dominating way that Lendl drove home his own lesson, Roger Federer is showing that the speed and strength of today’s pro game are merely its skeleton, not its flesh. He has, figuratively and literally, re-embodied men’s tennis, and for the first time in years the game’s future is unpredictable. You should have seen, on the grounds’ outside courts, the variegated ballet that was this year’s Junior Wimbledon. Drop volleys and mixed spins, off-speed serves, gambits planned three shots ahead — all as well as the standard-issue grunts and booming balls. Whether anything like a nascent Federer was here among these juniors can’t be known, of course. Genius is not replicable. Inspiration, though, is contagious, and multiform — and even just to see, close up, power and aggression made vulnerable to beauty is to feel inspired and (in a fleeting, mortal way) reconciled.

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One Comment on “limousine ridin’, lear jet flyin’, kiss stealin’, wheelin’ dealin’, stylin’ and profilin’ son of a gun world’s best tennis player”


  1. […] We really love Roger Federer and David Foster Wallace’s treatment of him and his rivalry with Nadal in the New York Times. The metaphor of Roger and Nadal as Apollo and Dionysus has stuck with us all day. […]


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