There are few athletes as stylish or fashionable as tennis great (and Anna Wintour BFF) Roger Federer. While certainly one of the best to ever play the game, we've always been impressed with his grace, courtesy, generosity, and sincerity. Truly the thinking woman's athlete, Roger begins his quest to win an unprecedented 18th Grand Slam title at this week's U.S. Open.
We take this opportunity not only to wish him luck but also to share this 2006 profile of him written by legendary author David Foster Wallace in the NYT, widely considered to be the greatest sports essay ever written.
Federer’s forehand is a great liquid whip, his backhand a one-hander that he can drive flat, load with topspin, or slice. His serve has world-class pace and a degree of placement and variety no one else comes close to; the service motion is lithe and uneccentric. His anticipation and court sense are otherworldly, and his footwork is the best in the game. All this is true, and yet none of it really explains anything or evokes the experience of watching this man play. Of witnessing, firsthand, the beauty and genius of his game. You more have to come at the aesthetic stuff obliquely, to talk around it, or -- as Aquinas did with his own ineffable subject -- to try to define it in terms of what it is not.