No, Seriously, Federer May Be a Robot

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2009 9:33 AM CDT
Andy Roddick of U.S. plays a return to Roger Federer of Switzerland during their men's final match on the Centre Court at Wimbledon, Sunday, July 5, 2009.   (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
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(Newser) – The late David Foster Wallace once marveled at a Roger Federer forehand, saying, “It was impossible. It was like something out of The Matrix.” And now that Federer has passed Pete Sampras and holds the Grand Slam record, it’s time to wonder if Wallace was on to something. “Let me put this bluntly,” writes Roger Cohen of the New York Times. “Is Roger Federer part of a Matrix-like artificial reality or is he flesh and blood?”

During the Wimbledon final, Federer’s shirt remained buttoned for the entire match. No sweat appeared on his forehead. He seemed to be “switching from slice to topspin backhand on the basis of some nerd’s formula no opponent can grasp.” OK, so Federer broke down at the Australian Open. We’ve seen him cry and throw a racket. He’s probably human. “Unless, of course, all this is only further proof of the devious genius of Federer’s cyber-creators.”