If you have any children and have watched them play sport, then you may be familiar with the miraculous phenomenon I am about to detail. Referred to in neuroscience circles as Scotoma, this peculiar trick of nature is more commonly known as the blind spot. There are many ways to demonstrate this effect with diagrams or illustrations, but for me all I need to do is switch on the television when Roger Federer plays tennis in a Grand Slam event. An even quicker method is to watch him square up to his great rival Rafael Nadal.
The Swiss native is a sportsperson of whom words do no justice, a member of a select group who can do things few others are capable of even conceiving in their chosen field. Arguably, at his peak, the combination of style and substance he regularly delivered on the highest stage represented the purest example of beauty in sport. But events in Melbourne, Australia this past week have once again caused me great distress and seem to have affected my vision in a sadly all too familiar way. Continue reading