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Praise of the beautiful gesture – Trends Business Trends on PC

When ‘lawn tennis’ was invented on green lawns in Victorian England in the 1870s, elites across the Channel lived in the cult of ancient Greece. Architecture, sculpture, dramaturgy, poems and even the fascination for the youth and their moving bodies of the Greeks had once again become fashionable in the artistic milieu. Tennis, which supplanted cricket in private clubs during this period, perfectly embodied this Hellenistic vogue with its players with pre-Raphaelite grace, chic outfits, elegant wooden rackets and slender gestures. Tennis then possessed an ethereal je-ne-sais-quoi, the alliance of dance and geometry, something chivalrous also…

When ‘lawn tennis’ was invented on green lawns in Victorian England in the 1870s, elites across the Channel lived in the cult of ancient Greece. Architecture, sculpture, dramaturgy, poems and even the fascination for the youth and their moving bodies of the Greeks had once again become fashionable in the artistic milieu. Tennis, which supplanted cricket in private clubs during this period, perfectly embodied this Hellenistic vogue with its players with pre-Raphaelite grace, chic outfits, elegant wooden rackets and slender gestures. Tennis then possessed an ethereal je-ne-sais-quoi, the alliance of dance and geometry, something chivalrous also in its heroic ascents towards the net. For more than a century, tennis remained this ethereal elegant game with a hint of aristocracy. Then, it was exported and from the years 1970-1980, it was the revolution. Tennis opened up to a large public of practitioners and spectators, evolved under the pressure of the market, technology and competition. It then turned into a much more metronomic practice, with the logic of a steamroller: the technological evolution of much lighter and more efficient racquets, the arrival of the topspin to give effect to the ball and combining both the strike force and safety, the two-handed backhand, the heavy baseline game taking over the aerial serves and volleys of yesteryear… The profile of the players also changed with the appearance of Vikings from the North , American bad boys, Mediterranean bullfighters or Balkan gladiators, all more impressive than each other and who contributed to making this sport a perfect spectacle. The genius of Roger Federer is to have known, in this joyous maze, to continue to embody the best formal ideal of the original game. Better still, since 2003, the date of his first Grand Slam victory at Wimbledon, he has never stopped refining his game, purifying it, getting ever closer to the Platonic idea of ​​tennis. His feat is to have proven that this quest for purity could also be effective. Make him one of the greatest champions, if not the greatest of this sport with a plethora of titles including 20 Grand Slams: the beautiful gesture associated with the gesture of a champion. Because who better than Federer will have embodied this perfection of the Apollonian style of Greek statuary? By the purity of his backhand (with one hand), the perfect fluidity of his movements, the precision (Swiss for once) of his strikes… With something like an Olympian demi-god above men: without never give the impression of sweating, of producing an effort or even of rushing, transgressing without forcing the laws of geometry and gravitation. An Apollonian style which found in Rafael Nadal (another demi-god) its Dionysian-style alter ego made on the contrary of fury, ruptures and excess. Two perfectly opposite approaches that raised them mutually to the top of tennis, producing dazzling encounters. At 41, Roger Federer had pushed the age limits of this sport so much (before him, you became a veteran barely past your thirties) that you thought he was still going to be able to push them back. By deciding, as he said this week, to quit the competition in the fullness of his means, he signs a new exploit, a new fine gesture, perhaps the most brilliant of his career: his definitive victory against the time by reaching, safe and sound, the land of legends. By stopping today, it paradoxically accesses a form of eternity.

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