While in the last 20 years football increased a lot in popularity, tennis has declined on the other hand, something that has to do with a lot of things...
1st, when Becker, Stich and Graf retired, there was a gap that neither Schuettler, Kiefer nor Haas could fill, simply because neither of them was nearly as successful.
2nd, we didn't like that Kiefer and Haas ( for a couple years Germanys two best male players ) couldn't stand each other.
Becker was so great that people forgave him that he was a douche towards Stich, but if you win Wimbledon a couple times people will easily look over that.
Today there are too many conflicts of interest.. Haas and Kohlschreiber can't stand each other, Mayer doesn't want Kuehnen to be team captain at the World Team Cup this year.
And all we want is to see them perform well, be it in Davis Cup or in tournaments!
And this is what we like so much about our national team in football... no alpha dogs, just 11 players who give 100%.
3rd, our national system is good on paper, but in fact these guys are not "hungry" to win... all they need to do year in, year out is to be ranked somewhere inside the top 100, play German League Tennis in the Summer, get Wildcards for the few German tournaments that we still have, lose the first round in Davis Cup and then win the Play-Offs in September.... no surprise to me that people lose interest in a sport we are only next performers.
One thing that is just as sad as funny:
Both the first round ties in Davis Cup and Fed Cup were NOT televised this year, and the respective captains were complaining about that... while the men got their butts kicked against Argentina ( Petzschner playing Singles on Clay... really? I mean really? ) and the women being favorites in their tie and losing in great fashion against Australia, and the captains want us to watch that crap on television?
There you go.
Excellent post, thank you.