“And where were you when Roger Federer announced his retirement?”

The question for the great events of history will nail the future of every aspiring tennis player: “And where were you when Roger Federer has retired? “. On a September day, an ordinary afternoon, the smartphone notifications repeat the same sentence over and over again. Roger Federer has announced his farewell to tennis, and we didn’t want to believe it. His last match will be at the Laver Cup then the sport of loners, of lonely men in command, he will be forced to archive his most elegant actor. The man who can make you believe in the impossible point, in the improbable plays, and in the superfine technique capable of ringing out Marquis mistakes in the most important moments. Human, more than human, yet supernatural. Roger Federer are the feuds between his fans, Rafael Nadal (physical tennis fought to the end) and Novak Djokovic (the infernal machine). Three players for three styles on the field and as many for discussion, stuff that not even football: because if at least eleven of them run behind the ball and the faults are lightened more or less equally, managing the yellow ball is the effort of Sisyphus of a lonely man and Federer has never hidden his fatigue. Ironically, as a kid he had also played football, he was one of those with good legs. But he chose another grass, other fields, other expressions of his style, supported by a family that addressed his talent in a very healthy way, unlike champions who anticipated him (Andre Agassi) and followed him. .

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A single noun frames the art of Roger Federer tennis: beauty. Pure, clean, mystical, like witnessing a miracle between grass and red earth. “Federer as a religious experience” headlined David Foster Wallace in his 2006 Wimbledon report on New York Times, briefly explaining what he had experienced in watching him play: “Beauty is not the goal of competitive sports, but high-level sports are a privileged place for the expression of human beauty. The relationship is more or less that of courage. with war. The human beauty we are talking about here is a beauty of a particular kind; it might be called kinetic beauty. Its power and charm are universal. It has nothing to do with sex or cultural norms. . What it seems to have to do with, in reality, is the reconciliation of the human being with the fact of having a body “. Roger Federer’s body was fragile perfection, his back suddenly betraying him, his dancing meniscus, his knee always on the verge of crumbling, eight total injuries in twenty-two years of career, to count them quickly. But the class of yesteryear, the shocking speed with which he was able to save impregnable balls and overturn games, could overcome any fear. Elegant in life and on the pitch, placid in private life with his wife Miroslava “Mirka” Vavrinec and the double pair of twins he had, Roger Federer had the power to pacify just by looking at him. Perhaps because he has always known how to lose, there was something mystical in his ability to take the crudest defeats. In twenty long years, Roger Federer’s career has been paradoxical, as the writer Emanuele Atturo tells us in his beautiful Roger Federer never existed (66thand2nd): he is the man who managed to record as many defeats as victories, always keeping the public’s favors close to him. “Every defeat of Federer is perceived as an injustice, a discordant note in the moral equilibrium of the cosmos” and the case of Wimbledon 2019, when Federer succumbed to the relentless steamroller Novak Djokovic, became the emblem of the very concept of losing on the pitch. . “For his fans that defeat is more inconceivable than unacceptable”. As the Roger Federer’s retirement todaywhich concludes the most beautiful parable of tennis.

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“And where were you when Roger Federer announced his retirement?”