The following is a work of fiction.
As soon as ESPN showed Bill Clinton arriving at the US Open for the Federer match, I instantly knew something was wrong. Why would a VIP, who could choose to attend any match during the tournament, not go to the US Open on Wednesday to watch Federer play Djokovic in the quarter-final? Why would he instead go watch Federer play an unknown journeyman from Australia in an earlier round? Did Bill know something the rest of us didn’t? Did Bill maybe know that there wouldn’t be a Federer-Djokovic match?
As soon as Federer hit the court, all sorts of alarms went off. Federer wasn’t himself. Commentators kept saying this. Fans kept seeing this. Federer kept missing easy shots. Federer kept making double faults. Federer kept making unforced errors (77 total for the match). Something was clearly, horribly wrong. But what?
Background: In 2015 Taylor Swift publicly criticized Apple for cheating artists out of royalties. This generated a lot of buzz and bad publicity for Apple. Apple made Taylor pay for her sin by making an Apple commercial (published on April 1, 2016) in which she *literally* falls on her face. As a reminder to her, but mostly to others, of who is boss.
In 2018 Roger Federer switched from Nike to Uniqlo, because his contract allowed him to do so. Nike warned him that he should stay, because there are other, much stronger contracts in place. Roger ignored the warning. Nike put an end to Roger’s career by making him throw the match against John Millman at the US Open.
The Colin Kaepernick / Nike controversy was a carefully-planned distraction from the real story — Nike putting an end to Federer’s career to punish him for his insubordination and show him, but mostly others, who is boss. Nike tipped off Bill Clinton: “Do you want to see Federer’s last match? Go to the US Open tonight.” So Bill went.