Serena Williams

In a boxing match, the combatants are rarely more than a couple of feet apart. Even the punch that separates them absolutely—the moment marking the difference between victory and defeat—unites them in brutal intimacy. That’s one of the reasons why boxing is relatively easy to photograph.

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Sorry Seems to Be the Easiest Word

What's the point of public apologies?

Any toddler knows how to feign just enough contrition to get out of trouble. Theoretically, what they are demonstrating are “manners,” but if you have ever heard a three-year-old mutter an unfeeling, transactional “sorry” as an automatic, easy get-out-of-timeout card, it is hard not to think he is a sociopath.

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One thing seems certain as the 2011 U.S. Open draws to a close: An American man will not win this year’s championship. Andy Roddick was both the last American to win a men’s grand slam event (the 2003 U.S. Open) and the last to compete for one (losing to Roger Federer at Wimbledon in 2009). It’s by far the longest stretch of time without an American winner since the Open era began in 1968.

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