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Djokovic’s GOAT Win Over Nadal, Art by Phetru

“Me trying to cover the court,” Djokovic says after seeing Phetru’s Shrinking Hype of him playing—and beating–Rafa in the 2021 French Open, arguably the greatest win of his career. “I’m dying at these,” says another. “Warm and fuzzy,” says one. Small, smaller, and smaller still. Phetru’s Shrinking Hypes a laughing gas way back machine to […]

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Simona Halep: Three Easy-but-Difficult, Safe-but-Risky, Calculated-but-Mindless Backhands

Situation: Having lost the first set, Simona is serving at 4-4 (15-15) in the second set against Sloane Stephens in the 2018 French Open Final. Sloane floats a weak return just past the service line, so Simona steps in and smacks an 88 mph sharply angled backhand cross-court within a foot of the sideline I submit that […]

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Three-Time French Open Champions: The Men

The Women will be published on June 4. Rafael Nadal: 4,500 rpm on the forehand.  Borg’s topspin revolution doubled, squared.  All that topspin means net clearance, safety, angles.  The perfect weapon for clay, its wars of attrition.  Bjorn Borg: I wanted to be Ringo Starr one year for Halloween. Long hair, girls screaming, rock star. […]

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Guga’s Hair, 1997

Novak Djokovic’s unruly wig bouncing Djoker caricaturing Gustavo Kuerten so that he looks like a bobblehead sports doll, Guga’s hair in reality so loose and free his body so loose-limbed and free dancing and bobbing to some unheard Brazilian music while he coils uncoils one-handed backhands big flat first serves sudden drop shots Guga’s body […]