The inexplicable collapse of a tennis phenom
The Atlantic (Sept. 2010)
It’s the second round of the Australian Open, late in the first set, when the yips take hold. Ana Ivanovic, the graceful, powerful Serbian brunette once dubbed the future of tennis, can’t toss the ball. Her left arm jerks upward and the ball veers off to her right. Rather than swing, she extends her racket and catches the ball on the strings. Restart. Bounce it. Take a quick breath. Go. Read more...
Racket technology saved tennis, and Roger Federer is proof
The Atlantic (July 2006)
Roger Federer should not exist. The twenty-four-year-old from Basel, Switzerland, has won three consecutive Wimbledon championships and dozens more titles, both major and minor, while rarely losing a match over the last three years. It’s not the pace of his victories, however, that makes Federer such a marvel; it’s how he wins—with perfectly placed serves, a devastating forehand, a flowing one-handed backhand, timely volleys, and feet as nimble as any the game has known. He’s the sort of versatile player that the modern power game supposedly had snuffed out for good. Read more...