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'Still' Life

The long autumn of Roger Federer

Updated: June 23, 2011, 12:12 PM ET
By Brian Phillips

There's a moment in Jim Corbett's Man-Eaters of Kumaon, which is unquestionably the greatest book ever written about hunting man-killing tigers in India, when the author encounters a snake. It's a big snake, a king cobra, 13 or 14 feet long, and Corbett is alone, deep in the forest, tracking some fearsome jungle cat. The snake is drinking from a pool of water, and when it sees Corbett it raises its head two or three feet in the air and looks at him. "It was the most beautiful snake I had ever ...

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