Roger Federer (e a noção de Federer Moment) por David Foster Wallace

federer.jpg

Para o maradona:

«Almost anyone who loves tennis and follows the men’s tour on television has, over the last few years, had what might be termed Federer Moments. These are times, as you watch the young Swiss play, when the jaw drops and eyes protrude and sounds are made that bring spouses in from other rooms to see if you’re O.K.
The Moments are more intense if you’ve played enough tennis to understand the impossibility of what you just saw him do. We’ve all got our examples. Here is one. It’s the finals of the 2005 U.S. Open, Federer serving to Andre Agassi early in the fourth set. There’s a medium-long exchange of groundstrokes, one with the distinctive butterfly shape of today’s power-baseline game, Federer and Agassi yanking each other from side to side, each trying to set up the baseline winner…until suddenly Agassi hits a hard heavy cross-court backhand that pulls Federer way out wide to his ad (=left) side, and Federer gets to it but slices the stretch backhand short, a couple feet past the service line, which of course is the sort of thing Agassi dines out on, and as Federer’s scrambling to reverse and get back to center, Agassi’s moving in to take the short ball on the rise, and he smacks it hard right back into the same ad corner, trying to wrong-foot Federer, which in fact he does — Federer’s still near the corner but running toward the centerline, and the ball’s heading to a point behind him now, where he just was, and there’s no time to turn his body around, and Agassi’s following the shot in to the net at an angle from the backhand side…and what Federer now does is somehow instantly reverse thrust and sort of skip backward three or four steps, impossibly fast, to hit a forehand out of his backhand corner, all his weight moving backward, and the forehand is a topspin screamer down the line past Agassi at net, who lunges for it but the ball’s past him, and it flies straight down the sideline and lands exactly in the deuce corner of Agassi’s side, a winner — Federer’s still dancing backward as it lands. And there’s that familiar little second of shocked silence from the New York crowd before it erupts, and John McEnroe with his color man’s headset on TV says (mostly to himself, it sounds like), “How do you hit a winner from that position?” And he’s right: given Agassi’s position and world-class quickness, Federer had to send that ball down a two-inch pipe of space in order to pass him, which he did, moving backwards, with no setup time and none of his weight behind the shot. It was impossible. It was like something out of “The Matrix.” I don’t know what-all sounds were involved, but my spouse says she hurried in and there was popcorn all over the couch and I was down on one knee and my eyeballs looked like novelty-shop eyeballs.
Anyway, that’s one example of a Federer Moment, and that was merely on TV — and the truth is that TV tennis is to live tennis pretty much as video porn is to the felt reality of human love.»

[Início de um épico artigo intitulado Roger Federer as Religious Experience, publicado na revista Play do jornal The New York Times a 20 de Agosto de 2006, texto que se estende por 38.407 caracteres; aliás, 50.890 se lhe acrescentarmos as 17 notas de rodapé, onde abundam frases como esta: «The thing with Federer is that he’s Mozart and Metallica at the same time, and the harmony’s somehow exquisite.»]



Comentários

One Response to “Roger Federer (e a noção de Federer Moment) por David Foster Wallace”

  1. maradona on Setembro 21st, 2008 16:03

    Fui reler (este é a serio) esse texto quando a noticia veio. escrevi um post de excelente qualidade mas infelizmente não o consegui acabar (derivado a variadissimos factores, nomeadamente eu ter descoberto a meio do post que eu não tinha razão no que estava a dizer). O mais extraordinário é que escolhi precisamente esse bocadinho como exemplo para o artigo. vou ver se o encontro, e se depois consigo forçar os factos por forma a dar-me razão.

«Tenho a suspeita de que a espécie humana - a única - está prestes a extinguir-se e que a Biblioteca perdurará: iluminada, solitária, infinita, perfeitamente imóvel, armada de volumes preciosos, inútil, incorruptível, secreta» Jorge Luis Borges