The king is back. In the world of global tennis, against all odds, 2017 came under the sign of Roger Federer. After a horrible year, at over 35 years of age, the absolute ruler of tennis of the early millennium has gifted his fans with an amazing comeback, dominating for the fifth time the Australian Open and winning again a few weeks later in Indian Wells and Miami.
My oh my. Considered by most on the path of retiring, the tennis-player who brought back the clock in his sport and its clothes style, is back.
Gifted by mother nature of a supernatural fluency in hitting the ball and with a feel of the game bordering clairvoyance, in an age of muscular and monotonous tennis-players, Federer has brought back fantasy, charisma and shots we hadn0t seen in decades. Some were never even seen on a tennis court.
Besides results, what makes him the greatest of all time is the way in which he is on the court. Never out of line, his opponents always see him as if he were surrounded by an unbreakable aura of tranquility. Set after set, winning over each opponent with elegance and impressive simplicity, he has become a living legend. And he has adjusted fashion to his taste.
For him, Nike has turned back time, letting go large multi-colored shorts of 90s American champions (do you remember Sampras and Agassi?) who somehow mimicked NBA superstars. In their place, smaller volumes matched by simple and linear aesthetics, recalling 1950s tennis players when rackets were still wooden and tennis still looked more like fencing rather than bazooka shots.
Only king Roger, in Wimbledon 2007, could reach the court in a white blazer and long white pants, as the pioneers of the sport used to do. And without looking ridiculous at all, on the contrary looking like exactly what he is. A timeless icon.
Recently he has been seen far from the tennis court, at the Met Gala 2017 for instance, where he was wearing for a famous brand a black suit with button jacket embroidered with crystals on the back, white shirt and bow-tie.
Yet, Federer is first and foremost an athlete and soon the season of red-clay courts will start. Paris awaits him for another miracle, and to be amazed by his white gestures.
“limits are like fears, often they’re just an illusion”. This is what another great icon of modern said, Michael Jordan. A different style, more oriented towards the present, definitely more Yankee. But that’s a whole different story…