Number One

Here’s a good stocking stuffer for the tennis fanatic in your life. NYT writer Christopher Clarey writes a masterpiece of the master himself: link

Roger Federer was the number one tennis player globally for 237 consecutive weeks from early 2004 to late 2008. It’s a record that Novak Djokovic can surpass in another 2+ years, but one he may not achieve after breaking all of Federer’s other records. Tennis is a grind, as I can attest as a lifelong player. Injuries happen. Family changes everything. The world watches every movement of a singles player like Federer or Serena Williams. Burnout is real and fully exposed. As a fan of tennis books, this one gets the cake because it shows Federer as a real person who managed to hold the world’s attention for over two decades with a singular skill. Grace as a character trait is often missing in the world. The politician Andrew Yang highlighted grace and tolerance in his recent book. Federer continues to show grace in the twilight of his career despite ferocious competition, a spiteful media, and naysayers.

I’ve seen Federer play three times. They were more memorable than watching Kobe, Steph Curry, David Robinson, Barry Bonds, Kurt Warner, Mark McGuire, Vince Young, and Tiger Woods. Why? Because tennis has always been my sport. Tennis is a demanding sport that I never really mastered, and watching Federer motivated me to try something new on the court. Even in 2021.