“Federer and Me” by William Skidelsky
Tennis, professional, fans, Federer
May 3, 2016
4 of 5 stars (very good)
Sometimes a legendary team or athlete will attract many fans and some of those fans will truly fit the definition of the word that “fan” is derived from, “fanatic.” That is certainly the case for William Skidelsky, a writer who is a huge fan of tennis star Roger Federer. Skidelsky tells readers just how obsessed he is with Federer in this humorous and self-depreciating memoir.
The book starts off with Skidelsky’s adventure in trying to obtain tickets for the 2014 Wimbledon finals where Federer faced Novak Djokovic. The manner in which he obtains these precious ducats and how he has to break the news to his wife is a hilarious story and sets the tone for the chapters in which he talks about this obsession about the Swiss tennis star.
Skidelsky calls himself a tennis nerd in the book as he writes sections on the game’s nuances such as the importance of the grip, the evolution from wood to graphite rackets and why the single handed backhand shot has nearly disappeared. These parts of the book were fascinating to me and while some casual fans may be overwhelmed with this level of detail, readers who want to find out intricate details like this will be very pleased.
There are long stretches of the book where Skidelsky talks about his life without tennis as well, and they are included to paint a complete picture of the author. But the best parts are certainly when he is talking about his favorite subject, Roger Federer. Whether it is camping out for tickets to see him at Wimbledon, describing the agony of Federer being on the losing side of one of the best matches in Wimbledon history or getting to ask Roger questions at a press conference, any tennis fan who follows his or her favorite player will be able to connect with Skidelsky and his extreme fandom. A fun read that is recommended to all tennis fans.
I wish to thank Atria Books for providing an advance review copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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