A few years ago you couldn’t open a magazine without reading that Roger Federer was a a god. He wasn’t only the best tennis player ever to have lived; he was reinventing the game as poetry, as free-form improvisatory beauty. He was the Satchmo of sport. More recently, the Federer bandwagon has flagged, perhaps because of the rise of Rafa Nadal (Federer isn’t number one anymore) or that weird bout of mono, or just the news cycle’s endless churning. Roger doesn’t get the respect he used to. British bookmakers even picked Andy Murray as a favorite in the Australian Open. But Murray is out, and Federer is in. And if Roger wins the tournament, he will, at age 27, tie Pete Sampras’s record for the most Grand Slam singles titles ever. Time to revisit those magazine paeans, by David Foster Wallace and Nick Paumgarten.
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