Strokes of Genius

Strokes of Genius Book Cover

When he maintains that the match between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer at Wimbledon last summer was “the greatest match ever played,” L. Jon Wertheim has some company. John McEnroe is among the people who agree.

But what makes Wertheim’s assertion interesting is the list of factors that qualify that match as “greatest ever.” It had no cheerleaders, and nobody was shooting t-shirts into the crowd with an air cannon. It had not only momentum shifts, but an injury, or at least the intimation of one, and delays because of “acts of God,” which sounds dramatic, even though the “acts” were rain showers.

Among the match’s other important characteristics were the fact that it marked the final in the sport’s most illustrious tournament, it pitted the number one and number two players in the world against one another, and it lasted as long as it could possibly last: five sets.

But whether or not Nadal v Federer at Wimbledon last summer was the “greatest ever,” it provided a perfectly good subject for Wertheim’s most recent book. Tennis fans will certainly enjoy it.

This program aired on June 25, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

Headshot of Bill Littlefield

Bill Littlefield Host, Only A Game
Bill Littlefield was the host of Only A Game from 1993 until 2018.



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