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U.S. Open: Beginnings and endings

The constant of Roger Federer's grace seems to soothe a volatile sport in transition

Originally Published: September 5, 2011
By Jeff MacGregor | ESPN.com

I. The Draw

"Which one is he?"

"In the red and black. See? In the far corner."

It both is and isn't hard to tell from here that Roger Federer is on Practice Court 1 at the U.S. Open. Hard because he's so far away from the fans who gather along the fence to see him. Not at all hard because the lash of his topspin forehand is as recognizable a gesture as was ever seen in sports.

There is something liquid in that forehand, something graceful and deceptive ...

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