In this wildly entertaining and informative memoir reminiscent of Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch—but for the world of tennis—one man recounts his all-consuming obsession with Roger Federer and delves into the fascinating history and evolution of this beloved sport.
For much of the past decade, William Skidelsky has had an all-consuming devotion to Roger Federer, whom he considers to be the greatest and most graceful tennis player of all time.
In this mesmerizing memoir, Skidelsky ponders what it is about the Swiss star that transfixes him and countless others. Skidelsky dissects the wonders of Federer’s forehand, reflects on his rivalry with Nadal, revels in his victories, and relives his most crushing defeats. But in charting his obsession, Skidelsky also weaves his own past into a captivating story that explores the evolution of modern tennis, the role of beauty in sports, and the psychology of fandom.
Thought-provoking and beautifully written, Federer and Me is a frank, funny, and touching account of one fan’s life.
William Skidelsky has been literary editor of the Observer (UK) and the New Statesman, as well as deputy editor of Prospect magazine. He has written about tennis for the Observer, Prospect, and The Economist. He played tennis to county level as a junior and now plays at a club in southeast London, where he is first team captain. He lives in London with his wife and two children.
"With his careful attention to the evolving talent of Federer and the debates around surface, rackets, strategy matches, and celebrity, Skidelsky scores."
– Publishers Weekly
“[Skidelsky] situates the Swiss in historical context, describing him as simultaneously a throwback to traditional tennis and an avatar of modern technology and training . . . He’ll certainly get no argument from the Fed-heads when he observes that the contemporary game of relentless baseline retrieving is boring compared with their man’s graceful, instinctive construction of points.”