The Paris Review

The End of the Tour: Tennis Stars in Twilight

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Photo: Christopher Clarey

There are stories. And then there are “story-stories.” The twin reemergence of Roger Federer and Rafael “Rafa” Nadal this year has been one of those story-stories, full of wait-that’s-not-alls and tell-me-what-happened-nexts. Their return to form has been as emphatic as it was unexpected, a jolt of sun in a strange year.

When the two faced off in the final of the Australian Open way back in January—which Federer won in a tense five sets (6–4, 3–6, 6–1, 3–6, 6–3)—there was the sense that the stars had simply happened to

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Paris Review

The Paris Review6 min read
On the Eve of My Eternal Marking
Photo courtesy of the author. My son wants to know why flies are even a thing; he wants to know why bugs are even a thing. They bother him. I get it. I, too, have his sensitivities. On the other side of the world, where our real lives reside, Chicago
The Paris Review3 min read
Redux: A Creator of Inwardness
Every week, the editors of The Paris Review lift the paywall on a selection of interviews, stories, poems, and more from the magazine’s archive. You can have these unlocked pieces delivered straight to your inbox every Sunday by signing up for the Re
The Paris Review13 min read
Trash Talk: On Translating Garbage
When we speak of translation in these end-of-days, it is often in the loftiest of tones, as though it were a sacred duty undertaken by devoted adepts prostrating themselves before the altar of language. The self is renounced, the greed for authorship