Federer "Wonder Year" NY Times Mag Flashcards Preview

Vocabulary > Federer "Wonder Year" NY Times Mag > Flashcards

Flashcards in Federer "Wonder Year" NY Times Mag Deck (16):
1

sleight of hand

manual dexterity, typically in performing tricks: "That day, every fifth shot, give or take, was a trick shot, and although Federer's attempts at post-match awards-presentation humor have tended to fall flat - on one occasion, he told the spectators to let's not forget the ball boys, because without the ball boys, there wouldn't be any balls, and without the ball, we could not play - his on court sleight of hand expresses a sly of wit." (35)

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2

sly of wit

sneaky or clever. "That day, every fifth shot, give or take, was a trick shot, and although Federer's attempts at post-match awards-presentation humor have tended to fall flat - on one occasion, he told the spectators to let's not forget the ball boys, because without the ball boys, there wouldn't be any balls, and without the ball, we could not play - his on court sleight of hand expresses a sly of wit." (35)

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3

grinder

The "Grinder" wins many a matches due to his/her speed, endurance, consistency and mental fortitude. What they lack in weaponry, they make up with fight and grit.

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4

shot maker

a person good at making difficult shots. "Pete Sampras, whose record seven Wimbledon titles was broken by Federer in July, once told me that when he went from a two-handed to a one-handed backhand, he was transformed from a grinder to a shot maker, and the game became immensely more enjoyable for him."

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5

Grand Slam

The Grand Slam tournaments, also called majors, are the four most-important annual tennis events. The Grand Slam itinerary consists of the Australian Open in mid January, the French Open in May and June, Wimbledon in July, and the US Open in August and September "When Federer triumphed at Wimbledon in July, he became the event's oldest champion in the Open Era (which began in 1968), and the oldest to win any Slam since Ken Rosewall's victory in the Australian Open in 1972."

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6

eminently

to a high degree : very eminently worthy an eminently sensible plan "Federer's 20-year carer has now traced the unlikely path of an inverted parabola: from unbeatable to to unbeatable, with a seven-year stretch of eminently beatable in between." (34)

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7

eschewed

avoid and stay away from deliberately. "Federer eschewed a passing shot and instead hit an off-speed dink shot directly at his opponent at the net. Zverev, having braced for a drive down the line, was so nonplused that it was all he could do to keep the ball in play, and he was passed two shots later." (35-36) Eschew derives from the Anglo-French verb eschiver and is akin to the Old High German verb sciuhen ("to frighten off"), an ancestor of our word shy. In

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8

nonplused

to cause to be at a loss as to what to say, think, or do : perplex "Federer eschewed a passing shot and instead hit an off-speed dink shot directly at his opponent at the net. Zverev, having braced for a drive down the line, was so nonplused that it was all he could do to keep the ball in play, and he was passed two shots later." (35-36) Etymology: In Latin, non plus means "no more." In the earliest known uses, which date to the 16th century, it was used as a noun synonymous with quandary. Someone brought to a nonplus had reached an impasse in an argument and could say no more. Within a few decades of the first known use of the noun, people began using nonplus as a verb, and today it is often used in participial form with the meaning "perplexed" (as in "Joellen's nasty remark left us utterly nonplussed").

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9

voluble

speaking or spoken incessantly and fluently: "Off the court and in conversation, he is expansive, voluble, prickly (particularly about the press) and opinionated, a bon vivant and seeker of new experiences and repeater of old ones he likes." (36) Talkative usually implies a readiness to engage in talk or a disposition to enjoy conversation. Loquacious generally suggests the power to express oneself fluently, articulately, or glibly, but it can also mean "talking excessively." Garrulous is even stronger in its suggestion of excessive talkativeness; it is most often used for tedious, rambling talkers. Voluble describes an individual who speaks easily and often. MD - volar to fly - word fly out of his mouth.

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10

prickly

(of a person) ready to take offense. "Off the court and in conversation, he is expansive, voluble, prickly (particularly about the press) and opinionated, a bon vivant and seeker of new experiences and repeater of old ones he likes." (36) MD - cactus being armored with small sharp points in anticipation of an animal offending it (by eating it)

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11

bon vivant

a person who enjoys a sociable and luxurious lifestyle. Gourmet, gourmand, and gastronome come from French, as does bon vivant. In the late 17th century, English speakers borrowed this French phrase, which literally means "good liver." No, we don't mean liver, as in that iron-rich food your mother made you eat. We mean liver, as in "one who lives" - in this case, "one who lives well." "Off the court and in conversation, he is expansive, voluble, prickly (particularly about the press) and opinionated, a bon vivant and seeker of new experiences and repeater of old ones he likes." (36) French phrase - good liver bon - good , vivan - liver

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12

meniscus (knee)

the medial meniscus and lateral meniscus - are crescent-shaped bands of thick, rubbery cartilage attached to the shinbone (tibia). They act as shock absorbers and stabilize the knee. The medial meniscus is on the inner side of the knee joint. The lateral meniscus is on the outside of the knee. "He went through meniscus surgery, returned to competition too early and then, after losing to Raonic in the Wimbledon semifinals last year, decided to pull out of the professional tour for the rest of the season." (36) Etymology - Greek meniskos "lunar crescent," diminutive of mene "moon"

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13

saddle (not horse saddle, figurative)

load or burden, encumber "Federer's decision to play much more aggressively was informed and reinforced by Nadal's semifinal against Grigor Dimitrov, a player whose strokes so closely resemble Federer's that he has been saddled with the moniker Baby Fed." (60) MD -

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14

encumber

restrict or burden. In Old French, the noun "combre" meant a defensive obstacle formed by felled trees with sharpened branches facing the enemy. Later, in Middle French, "combre" referred to a barrier, similar to a dam or weir, constructed in the bed of a river to hold back fish or protect the banks. That notion of holding back is what informs our verb "encumber," formed by combining en- and combre. One can be physically encumbered (as by a heavy load or severe weather), or figuratively (as by bureaucratic restrictions). "Combre" also gives us the adjectives "cumbersome" and "cumbrous," both meaning "awkward or difficult to handle."

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15

moniker

a name. "Federer's decision to play much more aggressively was informed and reinforced by Nadal's semifinal against Grigor Dimitrov, a player whose strokes so closely resemble Federer's that he has been saddled with the moniker Baby Fed." (60)

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16

meniscus (water surface)

the curved upper surface of a liquid in a tube. A concave meniscus, which is what you normally will see, occurs when the molecules of the liquid are attracted to those of the container. This occurs with water and a glass tube. A convex meniscus occurs when the molecules have a stronger attraction to each other than to the container, as with mercury and glass.Dec 2, 2016

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