I just want to repeat something that Kottke did a week or so ago and refer you to two excellent articles about tennis. First, this from Grantland on Roger Federer. It begins with an awesome anecdote about hunting a tiger (the book it refers to, Man-Eaters of Kumaon, was on the shelf at my grandpa’s house in Ireland and I picked it up a few times, but it always seemed a little dull despite its subject matter. But that was decades ago; I should try it again) and continues by saying cool things like this:
He’s still good enough to win any tournament he enters, but he’s always surrounded by that vague sadness, the result of his no longer being free from time. He’s become something like the world’s leading practitioner of mortality as a tactical position.
Second, this from Ed Caesar on the longest tennis match in history, played at Wimbledon last year between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut. It succeeds in producing a mesmeric description of the somewhat mesmerised state of being in what people sometimes call the Zone. The amazing thing about the match is that both players spent many hours simultaneously in the Zone, hitting perfect serves and groundstrokes, hardly facing any break points. Great read.