A champion is not forged by the mere talent possessed, but by the people who surround him, choices he makes over the course and his willingness to suffer. Chris Bower’s book: Federer, is a remarkable attempt to capture the formation of a great champion, albeit in patches.
If you have been following Federer since the onset of his professional career, you would barely find anything in Bower’s book that you didn’t already know. Chris has made a concerted effort to bring out a balanced picture, making a point for his approach to the book as a journalist, lest his admiration for Federer betrays him. However, he comes off as someone too far off to read into Federer’s psyche, to reveal what exactly makes him tick.
The book follows a timeline, with a word or more on Federer’s performance in each tournament. The chronological approach makes up for an interesting read but takes away the freshness that the book deserved. His time at the Swiss National Tennis Centre finds a meticulous mention, Federer’s psychological upheavals in his early years, and his subsequent break on the tour form the most intriguing part of the book. Roger’s dip in form in 2008, relinquishing the top ranking and the Wimbledon final and then coming back to reclaim both in the following year have all been delightfully recounted. There is slight overstress on Federer’s Davis cup appearances, or his much-debated absence from them. The book sort of rushes over the later parts of Federer’s career, again coming down and hinging over his Davis Cup win in 2014.
In the early part of 2016, and at age 34, Federer underwent an arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus, understandably, Chris chose to publish a revised version of his book, probably expecting too little to add to the Federer story there on. Chris, apparently, had little “caveats” of what the genius of Roger Federer was to render in 2017.
You can expect Chris to be charting out the most fascinating chapter for the next edition, as the legend of Federer still grows.
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