Federer as Scrutinous Experience

A few days ago, I read a piece in the New York Times Sunday Magazine by David Foster Wallace entitled "Federer as Religious Experience" - an homage to Roger Federer's artistry in the game of tennis.

In the piece, Wallace goes into detail several times about what it's like to have a 'Federer Moment', the first of which appears in a long sentence in the second paragraph of the piece, detailing events early in the 4th set of the Agassi/Federer match last year at the 2005 U.S. Open. It seems this sentence, has inspired some criticism of Wallace's propensity for extensive verbosity. Being a tennis player(a rank amateur I assure you), I ate it up and had to see the Moment for myself.

Like most things these days, I found it on YouTube and hunted around in the clip for what best resembled his words. I located something similar at around 8:10 in the video - a point where Federer is serving down 15-30, and wins it with "a forehand out of his backhand corner".

The point is vaguely similar to Wallace's description, but it was lacking a few key details found in Wallace's description, the most striking of which is Agassi's position on the court at the time of Federer's passing forehand - at the net in the text, on the baseline in the video.

The last thing I want to do is detract from Wallace's stellar work. His body of work is most impressive, and I thought this piece was beautifully written. But this warrants an e-mail to the Times Magazine editors to let them know of this fact-checking error.

8/27/06 UPDATE: Looks like something came of my e-mail. A correction has been appended on the NY Times website. Unfortunately, the article is now part of Times Select, but I have rerouted the first link in this post to an archived version, so you can still read it.