samedi 22 septembre 2012

Bullet time




Je n'avais encore jamais lu le fameux texte de David Foster Wallace sur Roger Federer, paru dans le New York Times en 2006: "Federer as Religious Experience".

Almost anyone who loves tennis and follows the men’s tour on television has, over the last few years, had what might be termed Federer Moments. These are times, as you watch the young Swiss play, when the jaw drops and eyes protrude and sounds are made that bring spouses in from other rooms to see if you’re O.K.
The Moments are more intense if you’ve played enough tennis to understand the impossibility of what you just saw him do. We’ve all got our examples. Here is one. It’s the finals of the 2005 U.S. Open, Federer serving to Andre Agassi early in the fourth set. There’s a medium-long exchange of groundstrokes, one with the distinctive butterfly shape of today’s power-baseline game, Federer and Agassi yanking each other from side to side, each trying to set up the baseline winner... until suddenly Agassi hits a hard heavy cross-court backhand that pulls Federer way out wide to his ad (=left) side, and Federer gets to it but slices the stretch backhand short, a couple feet past the service line, which of course is the sort of thing Agassi dines out on, and as Federer’s scrambling to reverse and get back to center, Agassi’s moving in to take the short ball on the rise, and he smacks it hard right back into the same ad corner, trying to wrong-foot Federer, which in fact he does - Federer’s still near the corner but running toward the centerline, and the ball’s heading to a point behind him now, where he just was, and there’s no time to turn his body around, and Agassi’s following the shot in to the net at an angle from the backhand side... and what Federer now does is somehow instantly reverse thrust and sort of skip backward three or four steps, impossibly fast, to hit a forehand out of his backhand corner, all his weight moving backward, and the forehand is a topspin screamer down the line past Agassi at net, who lunges for it but the ball’s past him, and it flies straight down the sideline and lands exactly in the deuce corner of Agassi’s side, a winner - Federer’s still dancing backward as it lands. And there’s that familiar little second of shocked silence from the New York crowd before it erupts, and John McEnroe with his color man’s headset on TV says (mostly to himself, it sounds like), "How do you hit a winner from that position?" And he’s right: given Agassi’s position and world-class quickness, Federer had to send that ball down a two-inch pipe of space in order to pass him, which he did, moving backwards, with no setup time and none of his weight behind the shot. It was impossible. It was like something out of "The Matrix." I don’t know what-all sounds were involved, but my spouse says she hurried in and there was popcorn all over the couch and I was down on one knee and my eyeballs looked like novelty-shop eyeballs... [suite]

PS. Le point "impossible" dont parle Foster Wallace est visible sur cette vidéo à 1:57. Federer mène au score 6-3, 2-6, 7-6, 2-0, 15-30.

12 commentaires:

Anonyme a dit…

federer plus grand joueur de tennis de tous les temps?

Bret Easton Ellis a dit…

Foster Wallace c'est nul !

Buster a dit…

Le plus grand joueur de tous les temps? je ne sais pas, ce qui est sûr c’est que Federer représente ce que j’ai vu de plus beau au tennis, devant McEnroe, Sampras, Edberg, Mecir...

Anonyme a dit…

Le tennis, faut couper le son pour trouver ça beau.

Anonyme a dit…

Et Rod Laver?Et Pancho Gonzalès?
Godard lui s'en souvient(cf Nouvelle Vague)

Buster a dit…

Bah oui mais je ne suis pas aussi vieux que Godard, moi! je ne parle que des joueurs dont j’ai pu voir les matchs, soit en gros à partir des années 80. Maintenant si on remonte plus loin, on peut considérer en effet Pancho Gonzalès, qui a révolutionné le jeu d’attaque avec son service et qui aurait certainement gagné une dizaine de Wimbledon et presque autant de Forest Hills s’il n’était pas passé professionnel très jeune, comme faisant partie avec Kramer, Rosewall, Laver… des plus grands tennismen de l’après-guerre, avant l’ère Open.
Donc je ne parle que des joueurs dont le tennis m’a visuellement ébloui (ce qui élimine les cogneurs). Mon premier grand choc a été les deux premiers sets funambulesques (2 sets et demi, même) de McEnroe contre Lendl en finale de Roland-Garros 1984.

Suzanne Lenglen a dit…

où sont les femmes?

Buster a dit…

Je suis fan de Marion Bartoli (et je ne plaisante pas, j’adore cette fille).

Anonyme a dit…

Wrong, Bartoli.. vous avez vraiment des goûts bizarres Buster :)

Anonyme a dit…

Bah alors ça bouge plus ici, Buster seriez-vous parti en lune de miel avec miss Bartoli ?

Closer a dit…

Eh non, c'est avec Greta Gerwig, n'est-ce pas Buster? ;)

Buster a dit…

Grrr... paparazzi di merda! :-)