CAPE TOWN - No tennis fan would hesitate to label Roger Federer one of the greatest tennis players of all time, some may even elevate the status to the greatest.
With Federer reaching the twilight hours of his long and illustrious career, a book devoted to this astonishing tennis player is well timed. Called The Master, it is written by Christopher Clarey who is the tennis correspondent for the New York Times. Clarey has written about Federer since the beginning of his career as a professional tennis player.
Roger Federer has always been a joy to watch and is the epitome of elegant sportsmanship and, like all people at the top of their craft, he makes it look so easy.
“Though it is rare to see Federer sweat, there has been tremendous toil and ample self-doubt behind the scenes. He has played in pain far more than most of us realise. There has also been no shortage of bruising setbacks in the spotlight. He has been a big winner, but also a big loser.”
“He has transcended tennis, not by using it as a platform for higher or edgier causes, but by remaining largely within the confines of the game. That is no small achievement for a sport with a dwindling and aging fan base in Europe and North America.”
The Master is superbly written and Clarey’s status as a revered tennis writer has given him extraordinary access to the Federer team and to the leading figures involved in tennis. The result is a book, rich in detail, one that no doubt will be treasured by lovers of the game.
For me though, at times there was too much contextual detail and, as a consequence, some readers might also find reading it a five-setter with tie breaks.
The Master - The brilliant career of Roger Federer is by Christopher Clarey available on loot.co.za (R321)