The moment every tennis journalist has feared now for over a decade arrived in the second set of yet another straight sets victory for Roger Federer in this year’s Australian Open. Peter Henshaw, a mid level New York Times journo of middling ability, only went and used up the last possible superlative in the English language already unused on the man.
Describing a deft sliced backhand winning volley from the Swiss legend, the New Brunswick man wrote online “it was as slight as an underfed faun, gambolling carefree over the dew dappled lilipads, chasing the faintest of easterly zephyrs in distant Narnia.”
And with those desperate words, journalists the world over threw their heads in their hands, knowing from there on they’d be confined to ugly, rehashed metaphors to laud the tennis giant.
The effects were tragic and immediate.
“Federer finished his opponent off this afternoon like a rough fisted Septuagenarian Philippino masseur reliving the horrors of his country’s past” wrote Jessica Ewan of England’s ‘the independent ‘.
“From early on, the Swiss maestro had his opponent on the ropes as ferociously as the aggrevated case of syphilis which killed Gaugin and all three of his 13 year old Tahitian wives.” Wrote Klaus Oberhaus of Das Bild.
“Federer’s serve was as penetrating as a Weinstein audition.” Desperately wrote Bill Harvey of the Irish Examiner.
“It’s impossible to write about Federer any longer,” one reporter said, “There’s nothing left to say. We’re left fumbling blindly for phrases in the dirt like – hard swallow – like Daily Mail columnists.”
The hope from journalists is Federer either retires at the zenith of human endeavour or becomes horribly embroiled in some kind of nightmarish scandal that will free up some new language.
“Frankly if someone ‘me too’-ed him it would be great. But at this stage some kind of bath-salts fuelled active shooter scenario seems about as likely knowing Roger as we do.”
“We have the headlines all ready.” An unnamed sources confirmed. “For the sake of sports journalism we can only hope his fall from grace is as catastrophic and poetic as a world number one golfer.”
Feature image: the Japan times