Speaking of Federer...
It's tautological that the best tennis players can consistently hit the square foot they're aiming for; that's what makes them the best tennis players. So by extension, it stands to reason that the best of the best are even more accurate.
An acquaintance of mine played against former American pro David Wheaton in Minnesota high school tennis. My friend was a senior when Wheaton was a freshman, so they only faced each other during one season, but my buddy quickly learned not to leave stray tennis balls on his side of the court. Wheaton had both the ability and the inclination to hit a stationary ball with a live ball in play, which would end the point in his favor. (The rule is, you leave tennis balls on the court at your own risk.)
It should come as little surprise that Wheaton won the Minnesota state singles title as a ninth grader. He would also become the #1 junior player in the United States, an NCAA champion at Stanford, and eventually the 12th-ranked player in the world.
Another guy blessed with otherworldly skills, Andre Agassi, could also hit a target as small as a tennis ball, even when it was moving. A New Yorker Talk of the Town story described the circus sideshow he staged one year on the U.S. Open practice courts, delighting fans by lining up tennis balls along the service line, walking to the other end of the court, then hitting one after the other with served balls, like Annie Oakley at a carnival shooting gallery. His finale was to hit one tennis ball high into the air, then fire another ball at it. The two balls would collide in midair.
Roger Federer has that kind of prodigious talent, as he demonstrated during a taping of a Gillette television commercial:
Sticking with sports for a minute, let's forget about the last year or so and think fondly back to when Tiger Woods was just a really good golf player. This good:
Of course, not all crazy skills are in athletics. Yesterday's New York Times crossword puzzle was the debut appearance by crossword constructor and FOBB&B Michael Sharp, also known by his nom de blog Rex Parker. It was a nifty puzzle, and quite tough for a Tuesday.
Because the Rex blog is prominent in crossword circles, Michael's maiden voyage in the NYT got a lot of attention. For example, another friend of this blog, insanely talented speed-solver and 2010 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament champion Dan Feyer, posted an online video of his own solving the puzzle in a lean, mean 2:17. (It took me almost six minutes.)
Here's Dan's video complete with his amusing running commentary; needless to say, you should not watch (or even look at) this if you still intend to solve the puzzle: