NYT: Federer is the savior of men's tennis - MensTennisForums.com
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-03-2004, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Tennis Fool's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Not on the court, obviously.
Age: 43
Posts: 8,752
                     
NYT: Federer is the savior of men's tennis

SPORTS OF THE TIMES
Sagging Tour Looks Toward Federer
By HARVEY ARATON

Published: July 3, 2004


Wimbledon, England

LISTEN to the voices within the greater tennis community, singing the praises of their new Swiss sultan, Roger Federer. Hear them hunger for his continued success, for him to become an iconic character they can present to the world without apology, with pride.

Hear the words the former champions John McEnroe and Boris Becker use to describe Federer while broadcasting on the BBC - brilliant, masterful, genius - or the valued opinion of Rod Laver, who hails Federer as "one of these uncanny talents whose instincts for the game don't come along too many times.''

Note how the world's best women players, unrestrained by competitive honor or fraternal envy, become starry eyed and practically tongue-tied at the mention of the name.

"I mean, as a tennis fan, I mean, Roger Federer is the most amazing thing to watch,'' gushed the normally smooth-talking Lindsay Davenport. "I mean, the way he plays, the way he moves, the way he acts. I mean, if you were to mold a perfect tennis player, that would be him.''

Perfect?

"He's just so perfect out there,'' Serena Williams agreed. "I mean, Roger is just, like, unbelievable.''

Here at Wimbledon - where rain prevented the men's semifinals from being completed yesterday with Federer leading Sébastien Grosjean of France by two sets and with Andy Roddick up a set and a break on Mario Ancic - Federer continues to draw comparisons to the all-timers, and then some. His steely resolve is likened to Bjorn Borg's. His athleticism is said to be akin to Pete Sampras's. His touch and improvisational skills are reminiscent of McEnroe's. His all-court adaptability is a throwback to the days when Laver the legend could rule on Wimbledon's lawns and Paris's red clay.

"He has the potential to win on all surfaces,'' said Tom Gullikson, who was here coaching Jennifer Capriati.

And what would tennis give to have Federer actually make a run at a calendar-year grand slam? In the age of specialization and anesthetizing baseline sameness, a period when only Federer has won as many as two Grand Slam tournaments in the last 10, he is suddenly being held up as the amalgam and the artist and possibly the ambassador to one day cross all international borders. At least from the purists' point of view, he is the chosen one, the man to lead this sagging sport out of the matrix of declining global interest.

"Pete won 14, but a lot of people say Roger's the best player ever,'' Gullikson said in defense of the retired Sampras. "He's a phenomenal player, but for a while everyone was saying he was an underachiever. Now he's won two grand slams and everyone says he's invincible.''

Projections based on potential are nothing new, and as with the Williams sisters, are often unfair. But Federer has clearly touched something with the tennis regulars, who do not want their sport to experience further public atrophy. They sense something different about Federer, an easygoing 22-year-old in a trademark headband wrapped over deep-set eyes, with his shaggy hair neatly tied. Call it contemporary mystique or retro-Borg, Federer stands apart from the rangy twentysomethings in their ubiquitous baseball caps.

Nothing against Roddick, who is capable of serving Federer off Center Court and any other court, and in many ways is the ideal stylistic and emotional contrast to Federer's comfortable cool. Gullikson even compared Roddick's second serve - which in the men's game ultimately separates the very good from the great - to Sampras's, the best of all time.

But for all of Roddick's positive energy, he is more evocative of an industry that in recent years has tried to endear itself to disenfranchised youth with jazzy promotions, with a pumped-up volume of power tennis. Net effect: more and more graying baby boomers who think, "I'm too old for this,'' before packing the golf clubs into the car.

What Federer is capable of doing is renewing the belief that tennis can still be about footwork, instinct and touch, intuitive strategizing that currently does not even require the use of a coach.

Against Lleyton Hewitt in the quarterfinals, Federer played most of the match from the baseline, choosing not to give Hewitt a target he craves. By yesterday evening, he was back to using all of his hybrid skills, his entire side of the court a showcase in diverse shot making against Grosjean.

Grosjean was on his way to a quick exit before nature intervened - though not as fast as the departure of Alejandro Falla, the dizzied opponent against whom Federer completed a second-round three-set sweep in 54 head-spinning minutes.

While Tiger Woods has never done anything more charismatic than having his Nike cap surgically attached to his head, American networks may soon be asking how they can sell a European who does not throw tantrums, shave his body hair or lapse into arm-pumping convulsions upon converting a break point.

The promise of greatness, I would remind them, is in the pure performance. Just this spring, a horse proved that.
Tennis Fool is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-03-2004, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Tennis Fool's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Not on the court, obviously.
Age: 43
Posts: 8,752
                     
Re: NYT: Federer is the savior of men's tennis

This the most apt part of the article:

Call it contemporary mystique or retro-Borg, Federer stands apart from the rangy twentysomethings in their ubiquitous baseball caps.

Nothing against Roddick...he is more evocative of an industry that in recent years has tried to endear itself to disenfranchised youth with jazzy promotions, with a pumped-up volume of power tennis. Net effect: more and more graying baby boomers who think, "I'm too old for this,'' before packing the golf clubs into the car.
Tennis Fool is offline  
post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-03-2004, 07:10 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 2,922
                     
Re: NYT: Federer is the savior of men's tennis

" "Pete won 14, but a lot of people say Roger's the best player ever,'' Gullikson said in defense of the retired Sampras. "He's a phenomenal player, but for a while everyone was saying he was an underachiever. Now he's won two grand slams and everyone says he's invincible.''

Pete and his coaches can sleep peacefully. His records are untouchable. Nobody saying that Roger IS the best ever, but he has the potential to be one of the best. That's all.

Last edited by Skyward; 07-03-2004 at 07:12 PM.
Skyward is offline  
post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-03-2004, 07:25 PM
Registered User
 
maratski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: a nice loft near the Kremlin
Age: 34
Posts: 10,388
                     
Re: NYT: Federer is the savior of men's tennis

Roger is definitely a great player and might even be the best, but I kinda stopped listening to what former players have to say about the current top players. They just go with the flow.

The "future" of tennis keeps changing. In 2000 all the talks were about Marat, in 2001 Lleyton was da man, 2002 was still lots of Lleyton and 2003 was the year of Ferrero, Federer and Roddick. Every commentator talks positive about them when commenting on one of their matches, cause that's what they're paid for.
Their comments can be funny, but I wonder sometimes why Boris "boom boom" Becker says tennis is all about serve. Didn't his serve give him his nickname?

SINCE THERE'S NO TENNIS ACTION I WENT FOR TONGUE ACTION




Member of the unofficial international Mohamed Lahyani fanclub
maratski is offline  
post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-03-2004, 07:59 PM
Registered User
 
amethyst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: My heart is in Roland Garros 1997, 2000, 2001
Age: 45
Posts: 1,900
                     
Re: NYT: Federer is the savior of men's tennis

While I agree that Federer is a brilliant player and has unbelievable talent we should remember he still has to prove a lot before he can be compared with Sampras.
And I agree with maratski about the talk of former players. I follow tennis for about four years now and I can´t even remember how often I´ve heard "This player will dominate tennis for a long time" and none of it came true!
amethyst is offline  
post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-03-2004, 08:19 PM
Registered User
 
Gonzo Hates Me!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Age: 31
Posts: 3,591
                     
Re: NYT: Federer is the savior of men's tennis

I think Roger is the true future of tennis! I think, whenever they said that about Marat--Lleyton, blah blah blah, they meant it because the moment allowed them to. Those were guys who achieved number 1. They deserved to be in the future of tennis because their respected moments permitted! But Federer, people must say that about him and be so certain. How can you not be, you'd have to be in denial.

I think and hope Roger can can be succesful enough in his career to challenge Pete--and he can--hopefully no injuries. To say he's only got 2 Slams--that's funny. What's Roger, like 22? By the time he is done, there should be no reason that he shouldnt have ahieved what Pete has

I love Pete though, alot alot alot--so I wouldnt want Rogi to exact or surpass his record Maybe people dont want Pete to be surpassed, atleast, American sports analysts

but Rogi, I think he is the best player ever in terms of skill

With each passing season, I discover new reason
SAMPRAS --> Rios --> KUERTEN --> Kafelnikov -->
Federer --> Hewitt --> RODDICK --> GONZALEZ -->
NALBANDIAN --> Benneteau --> Davydenko --> Mathieu -->
TURSUNOV --> Mantilla --> KIEFER --> NADAL -->
Karlovic --> Odesnik --> Stepanek --> Monfils -->
??


Oliver Cromwell lay buried and dead. Hee-haw. Buried and dead.
Gonzo Hates Me! is offline  
post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-03-2004, 08:27 PM
Registered User
 
amethyst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: My heart is in Roland Garros 1997, 2000, 2001
Age: 45
Posts: 1,900
                     
Re: NYT: Federer is the savior of men's tennis

Mrs. Guga, I don´t think it´s denial to say Federer still has to prove he can keep this level for years (and that it´s a long way from his two Slams to 14). I wouldn´t be surprised if he came close to Sampras achievements one day, but all this talk about "the greatest ever" comes much too early.
amethyst is offline  
post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-03-2004, 09:39 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 8
 
Re: NYT: Federer is the savior of men's tennis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tennis Fool
Nothing against Roddick...he is more evocative of an industry that in recent years has tried to endear itself to disenfranchised youth with jazzy promotions, with a pumped-up volume of power tennis. Net effect: more and more graying baby boomers who think, "I'm too old for this,'' before packing the golf clubs into the car.
You've cut to the core of the problem with tennis today. As more and more of those baby boomers pack the golf clubs in the car, fewer and fewer tickets to local tennis tournaments get sold.

Ultimately what keeps selling those season box seats at tournaments like Indian Wells and Key Biscayne is the sense of awe that comes from a player whose play seems to border on the impossible.

Women's tennis used to have such a player. Her name was Steffi Graf. Coincidentally or not, her biggest shot was also the forehand. I never thought twice about spending 7 to 8 thousand dollars on box seats just to see her play. I cancelled those subscriptions a couple of years after Steffi retired. The brute force of Serena, Venus & Co. just never sparked my imagination.

Recently, however, I've thought of getting season box seats again. Federer has captured my imagination just like Steffi did decades ago. I want to see this Federer guy play. He produces his own hype.

On the question of hype. All of the buzz around players like Roddick and Serena may mean big TV ratings. But often, and the experience of attending many tennis tournaments tells me this, there is a disconnect between high TV ratings and high attendance at local tournaments. A lot of people, in the US at least, seem to tune in to watch the Williams' sisters on TV, but for one reason or another they don't buy tickets to see them play. I've been at large tournaments (e.g., Key Biscayne and Indian Wells) where their matches are often poorly attended. Given that a significant fraction of tickets for these tournaments are purchased by retirees, particularly at Indian Wells, this is not surprising at all. This is an audience that hasn't warmed up to Roddick, Serena, Venus et al., because they play a kind of tennis that lacks variety, that lacks virtuosity, and that hearkens back to an era when many of these people first discovered tennis. You've also got to figure that many of these people still play tennis recreationally. And, that for them, there is something more evocative about a brilliant drop shot or slice backhand, shots that they can probably hit, albeit not as well.

Of all the players in the last 5 years, Federer has the most potential to renew these people's interest in the sport. If he succeeds, he will secure the financial future of many local tournaments. It is those tournaments that are the backbone of the sport.
LDVTennis1 is offline  
post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-03-2004, 09:45 PM
Forum Umpire:
Gaston Gaudio
 
Action Jackson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 124,503
                     
Re: NYT: Federer is the savior of men's tennis

Quote:
Originally Posted by maratski
Their comments can be funny, but I wonder sometimes why Boris "boom boom" Becker says tennis is all about serve. Didn't his serve give him his nickname?
He got his nickname for his antics in a closet with a Russian woman.

On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
Action Jackson is offline  
post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-03-2004, 09:48 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 2,922
                     
Re: NYT: Federer is the savior of men's tennis

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeWHitler
He got his nickname for his antics in a closet with a Russian woman.
Skyward is offline  
post #11 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-03-2004, 10:34 PM
-LIFETIME MEMBER-
 
Havok's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Montreal
Age: 30
Posts: 9,460
                     
Re: NYT: Federer is the savior of men's tennis

Quote:
Originally Posted by LDVTennis1
You've cut to the core of the problem with tennis today. As more and more of those baby boomers pack the golf clubs in the car, fewer and fewer tickets to local tennis tournaments get sold.

Ultimately what keeps selling those season box seats at tournaments like Indian Wells and Key Biscayne is the sense of awe that comes from a player whose play seems to border on the impossible.

Women's tennis used to have such a player. Her name was Steffi Graf. Coincidentally or not, her biggest shot was also the forehand. I never thought twice about spending 7 to 8 thousand dollars on box seats just to see her play. I cancelled those subscriptions a couple of years after Steffi retired. The brute force of Serena, Venus & Co. just never sparked my imagination.

Recently, however, I've thought of getting season box seats again. Federer has captured my imagination just like Steffi did decades ago. I want to see this Federer guy play. He produces his own hype.

On the question of hype. All of the buzz around players like Roddick and Serena may mean big TV ratings. But often, and the experience of attending many tennis tournaments tells me this, there is a disconnect between high TV ratings and high attendance at local tournaments. A lot of people, in the US at least, seem to tune in to watch the Williams' sisters on TV, but for one reason or another they don't buy tickets to see them play. I've been at large tournaments (e.g., Key Biscayne and Indian Wells) where their matches are often poorly attended. Given that a significant fraction of tickets for these tournaments are purchased by retirees, particularly at Indian Wells, this is not surprising at all. This is an audience that hasn't warmed up to Roddick, Serena, Venus et al., because they play a kind of tennis that lacks variety, that lacks virtuosity, and that hearkens back to an era when many of these people first discovered tennis. You've also got to figure that many of these people still play tennis recreationally. And, that for them, there is something more evocative about a brilliant drop shot or slice backhand, shots that they can probably hit, albeit not as well.

Of all the players in the last 5 years, Federer has the most potential to renew these people's interest in the sport. If he succeeds, he will secure the financial future of many local tournaments. It is those tournaments that are the backbone of the sport.
When I went to the TMS here in Montreal, I've overheard quite a few conversations of these older tennis fans and they were just as excited about watching Andy as they were about watching Federer, or Agassi, etc. And in all seriousness, the majority of these fans in attendance will always be a younger audience, so it doesn't really matter anyways.

Andy Roddick.Fernando Verdasco.Richard Gasquet.Tommy Haas





Havok is offline  
post #12 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-03-2004, 10:51 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: usa
Posts: 279
                     
Re: NYT: Federer is the savior of men's tennis

Quote:
Originally Posted by LDVTennis1
Recently, however, I've thought of getting season box seats again. Federer has captured my imagination just like Steffi did decades ago. I want to see this Federer guy play. He produces his own hype.

Of all the players in the last 5 years, Federer has the most potential to renew these people's interest in the sport. If he succeeds, he will secure the financial future of many local tournaments. It is those tournaments that are the backbone of the sport.
I agree with you. I hear Roger is even better in real life than on TV! I look forward to watching him play this summer in the US. Maybe I'll even learn to play tennis so I can really appreciate all his shots!

ROGER - world #1!

Pete Sampras: 5 Favorite Players to Watch- Bjorn Borg. “He was a great athlete.”
Roger Federer. “For his smoothness.”
Rod Laver. “Had the complete package.”
John McEnroe. “A unique game.”
Ken Rosewall. “I loved the backhand.”


"For me, winners stay and losers go. I don't want to be one of those who loses" - Roger Federer, Wimbledon Champ 2003, 2004, 2005
vene is offline  
post #13 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-03-2004, 11:32 PM
Registered User
 
faboozadoo15's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 887
                     
Re: NYT: Federer is the savior of men's tennis

i don't like reading articles about single players "redeeming" the tour, but i'm glad theres one about federer instead of all of them being about roddick who has but one win over federer. the ones about federer at least address tennis ability and talent rather than ball bashing and record breaking serves (which take a lot of talent, don't get me wrong, but none of that wins you a match against the best... it takes the extra mile).
GO ROGER!!!

Maybe Roger can win Roland Garros.......
faboozadoo15 is offline  
post #14 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-04-2004, 12:31 AM
F***ing have it
 
alfonsojose's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Barranquilla (COL)
Age: 40
Posts: 16,870
                     
Re: NYT: Federer is the savior of men's tennis

Federer is so
alfonsojose is offline  
post #15 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-04-2004, 12:37 AM
Last dance, Andy
 
tangerine_dream's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: New York New Englander
Posts: 25,432
                     
Re: NYT: Federer is the savior of men's tennis

Gee, I can't wait for the Federer backlash to begin.

"What kind of shape am I in now? Well round is a shape." said Roddick with a laugh. "I had a very detailed retirement plan, and I feel like I've met every aspect of it: a lot of golf, a lot of carbs, a lot of fried food, and some booze, occasionally — I've been completely committed ... The results have shown."


Mugs Tennis Forums
tangerine_dream is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the MensTennisForums.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome