Monday, July 07, 2008
I accidentally saw the last hour of the Wimbledon final between Nadal and Federer and, in spite of my prejudices, I was gripped. I was also intrigued. The commentators said several times that this was the best tennis ever played. Ever? Is this possible? One assumes that great talent is more or less evenly and sparsely spread across the generations. Did they mean that Federer and Nadal are the greatest tennis players ever and they just happen to be playing at the same time? Or does the technique of the game advance over the years so that if, say, Rod Laver were playing now he would be a better player? I suppose I am asking, is tennis an art or a science? Science advances, art does not. Or is this all just contemporary vanity? We want to believe that the best happens to us rather than to our forebears.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 5:40 am