Monday, August 10, 2009

"Strokes of Genius" by L. Jon Wertheim

Recently finished reading "Strokes of Genius" by L. Jon Wertheim and found it... pretty good.

In it, the Sports Illustrated writer expands upon his original coverage of the 2008 Wimbledon Men's Final into a book subtitled "Federer, Nadal, and the Greatest Match Ever Played." At times I found my interest waning as the match itself was detailed, but always found interesting the descriptions of the players themselves.

What emerges throughout the book is a fascinating portrait of the two undisputed heavyweights in men's tennis who have many characteristics in opposition to one another, but also have much in common. That you can have such high level competition between combatants with so much respect for one another's abilities as well as each other is refreshing to read about.

All in all, an interesting book for either a hardcore tennis fan or sports fan interested in rivalries at the highest level of the game... whatever that game may be.

One thing I did find odd (though it doesn't reflect at all on the book itself) is in reading Wertheim's coverage of the one year later 2009 Wimbledon Final between Federer and Andy Roddick, I never came across any real comparison between the two matches. I would expect that the Federer-Nadal match had more gravitas in the broad scheme of things, but also would think a five set final that ended 16-14 in the 5th set deserves to be at least compared to "the greatest match ever played."