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“Crying in the Wilderness” by Louisa Thomas on Grantland.
Crying has always had a place in sports. The stadium has always been regarded as the rare place where that’s acceptable, where it humanizes, not feminizes, men on the field and in the stands. These days, tears on even the faces of female athletes aren’t taken as a sign of weakness. I suppose that’s progress, though I flinch at the idea that ‘feminize’ is still used as a slur.
And then read my follow-up essay tomorrow.
photo by Martin_Borgman
In honor of the longest men’s singles Grand Slam final, in which Novak Djokovic defeated Rafael Nadal in just under six hours to win the 2012 Australian Open, here is a link to an essay about…Roger Federer.
Yes, the Federer-Nadal rivalry isn’t what it used to be (i.e., Federer lost to Nadal in the Australian Open semifinals and hasn’t beaten Nadal in five years); nevertheless, Federer’s name is seldom left out of the conversation about the current kings of men’s tennis. Even when he’s not in the final, the play of the other competitors invites comparison with Fed’s game.
If the martial energy, power, and spectacle of endurance of the Australian Open men’s final didn’t do it for you, then perhaps an ecstatic meditation on the grace and exhilaration of Federer’s game will. Unlike his novels, this essay by David Foster Wallace will take you less time to read than a Djokovic-Nadal final takes to watch.