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Sport: The Federer Artistry

Pursuits | By Jim White | Summer 2017

'If only we could all go downhill like Rog' says Jim White, on the sporting champ's apparent inability to fall from form

For us hacks, there is a tradition at Wimbledon almost as long observed as those involving strawberries, security rings of steel and, during an Andy Murray match on Centre Court, some chap who has over-indulged on the hospitality shouting, ‘C’mon Tim,’ under the mistaken assumption he is patrolling the very cutting edge of satire. The ritual goes like this. On the desk of a broadsheet newspaper, an editor will think it a good idea to prepare Roger Federer’s Wimbledon obituary. He is long past thirty now, they will say; it’s time for him to be put out to pasture. Chronology insists he can no longer produce the glorious, aesthetic, life-enhancing athleticism of his younger days, they will claim. Those sumptuous forehands that fizz a millimetre above the net and land with laser-targeted accuracy just beyond his opponent’s reach; he physically can’t keep producing those, can he? So get down to...

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