, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

PhotobucketToday, let me write about two things I love most in life: magic and tennis— not necessarily in that order.

About tennis…what can I say about it? I love the game.  I love chasing lobs all day, hitting the ball with crisp strokes, passing the opponent a shot, and then thrash-talking him.

I have been playing tennis since high school.  As a result of playing more years than most tennis buffs, I think I play a lot better than most average racket wielders. But, of course, as you can see, I’m biased.

PhotobucketFederer is my idol (and I think he will also idolize me once he sees me do a Double Lift). And so is Borg and McEnroe and Connors and Lendl and Sampras and Agassi before him…

As for magic…I have been doing it since I was in Grade 3. That means I have been into magic for eons now.  I have been a student and practitioner of magic for such a long time that if magic could only throw up when it sees my face, it had already thrown up its entrails.

Now what happens if these two loves of my life—magic and tennis— combine their allures and make my day together, at the same time, all together, all at once?

A hypothetical question?

Hypothesize no more. Today, I stumbled upon an Associated Press news published in the Philippine Star. The story tells about how Roger Federer, arguably the greatest tennis player on planet earth and of all time, awe fans and the public at large by performing a trick shot with a tennis ball.  The nicest part of the magical performance is that it was captured on video.

The video titillated me pink, red and maroon.  After watching it for the nth time, I swooned for hours on end like any lovestruck magician.

According to the AP story, “The video shows Federer knocking a metal can off a man’s head with a serve while shooting an ad for Gillette. Then, he does it again, drawing applause from the crew.”

Here’s the video of that magical moment:

Was the performance an exhibition of tennis skill? A display of  magical razzle-dazzle? Or was it a camera trick.

Probably it’s a combination of all three. What I’m sure of is that the clip produced magic that many magicians cannot produce with their thumb tips.

The video has drawn over a million viewers on YouTube. Also, it has unavoidably stirred questions from tennis enthusiasts, magicians, special-effect people and laymen. People want to know whether it was a trick shot or computer generated imagery (CGI)?

“Roger Federer says there’s a little bit of magic at work in his trick-shot video,” the AP reported. But last Wednesday, after his opening match at the Cincinnati Masters, when asked directly whether the video is real, he answered, “Not saying that.”

Then he squelched everybody’s curiosity with a standard conjurer’s line, “A magician doesn’t tell how his tricks work.”

Good answer, Roger.  It’s much better than the Masked Magician cop-out.

PhotobucketBecause of that, I will make you win the next time we play a five-set match—-of sungka.

Stay magical,