Book Review

The Last Days of Roger Federer – A fine rhapsody against the dying of the light

A contemplation of the ageing process and its effects on creativity lies at the heart of Geoff Dyer’s new collection of essays

Roger Federer at match point against Novak Djokovic in the 2019 Wimbledon men’s final (the longest in history). Federer wasted two championship points and was defeated by Djokovic. Picture: Getty

The teenage Geoff Dyer was on a camping trip in 1972 when he received life-altering news. At the age of 26, George Best had announced that he was retiring from professional football. Dyer grew up in working-class Cheltenham and, for his poorly-paid relatives, retirement was “practically an ambition”. But Best quitting football was very different. It marked the first time Dyer “knew of anyone stopping doing something they loved, the thing that gave their life ...