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The Harper buzz effect, a lost track career and Federer better than ever

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
Sports Redef

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rantnrave:// Roger Federer is timeless. He has sent Father Time back on his heels and into his corner. His career is fantastical. How else can you describe it? Sunday, at Wimbledon, Federer won his 19th Grand Slam title. His eighth Wimbledon. It's remarkable. He went nearly five years without a Slam before this season. Hadn't won one since 2012. He's got two in 2017 now, at 35 years old. Tennis players aren't supposed to win Slams at that age. Federer especially. Rafa Nadal was supposed to have passed him by. Then Novak Djokovic. Andy Murray had his turn atop the field. Federer was getting older and supposedly losing ground by the year. Yet, here he is again. Djokovic seems lost. He's battling injuries and whatever else during an unexplainable slump. Nadal is still the master on clay courts but has won only one Slam on other surfaces since 2010. Murray is the top-ranked player in the world but bowed out early at Wimbledon. Federer has always been more like an artist. An athlete with the grace of a ballerina. Watching him is like seeing a painter work. We are witnessing history. Federer, more than any other tennis star of this generation, allows us to enjoy it in the moment. He admits his shortcomings. His game isn't based on brute force. He is a virtuoso. ... Venus Williams couldn't match Federer. But her run to the final was the best part of the tournament. Garbine Muguruza is a budding star. She has two Slams on her résumé. If Serena and Venus ever retire (let's hope not), Muguruza could be one of the faces of the sport. While Venus' loss could share the headline, don't forget to give Muguruza her due. She's a Williams sisters slayer, beating Serena in the 2016 French Open final and Venus Saturday. ... Writing an epitaph for Chuck Blazer isn't easy. He was a criminal who lived large and a key federal witness who helped bring FIFA's corruption into the light. As his life began to crumble, Blazer became soccer's anti-hero. SportsSET: "The Man Who Helped Take Down FIFA". ... The Olympic Channel is here. Will enough people want to watch Olympic sports outside of Olympic years to make it viable? ... Julia "Hurricane" Hawkins is the next Usain Bolt. ... RIP Bob Wolff and Martin Landau.


Bryce Harper brings more than passion to the game; making baseball fun is beyond a slogan

Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper plays the game with passion and flair, often to the chagrin of opposing fans. His future free agency is already creating sparks.
Bill Shaikin | Los Angeles Times


The five-buck bump of cocaine that destroyed an Olympic dream

Eric Thompson was a high-jump prodigy with an Olympic future well within his reach, until one failed drug test locked him in a battle with doping authorities that ultimately changed his life.
Aaron Gordon | Vice Sports


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The 35-year-old, eight-time Wimbledon champ isn't the same player he was a decade ago. He's better.
Tom Perrotta | The Weekly Standard


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Kansas State's Scott Frantz's revelation he is gay shows the culture has changed in football. If gay players can feel safe in the melting pot of the locker room, it also has implications well beyond those walls.
Vahe Gregorian | The Kansas City Star


The rise, fall and rise of the Rubik's Cube

The Rubik's Cube was briefly the best-selling toy in history when it first debuted in the 1980s. Since then it has fallen out of fashion and been reborn in a variety of styles and formats by a devoted community of puzzle-solvers.
Rebecca Sheir | WBUR


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