The Super Heroes of Tennis and their Super Powers
By Tennis-X.com Staff
Tennis Australia recently came up with a new marketing campaign for the 2004 Australian Open, "Super Heroes Super Tennis." Look for pose-able dolls in a store near you. "The Australian Open attracts the world's top players to display their super powers on one of the world's greatest stages," said Australian Open Chief Executive Paul McNamee. "Like the super heroes of the screen and comic books, they are the super heroes of their sport, idolized and admired for their incredible skills and athleticism. This campaign captures that in a fun and powerful way that can be appreciated and enjoyed by people of all ages." Not that powerful, not that fun. While this slogan sounds like a bad Asian translation of something or other (Super Hero Super Tennis Show!), it is an actual theme that includes promoting the "super power" of each top player:
Super hero -- "Super power":
Lleyton Hewitt -- "Blinding Speed"
Andre Agassi -- "Bullet-like Return"
Juan Carlos Ferrero -- "Stinging Groundstrokes"
Andy Roddick -- "Thunderbolt Forehand"
Mark Philippoussis -- "Missile-like Serve"
Roger Federer -- "Magical Racquetwork"
Paradorn Srichaphan -- "Spell-binding Humility"
Serena Williams -- "Intimidating Force"
Justine Henin-Hardenne -- "Backhand Brilliance"
Kim Clijsters -- "Pushing the Limits"
Venus Williams -- "Amazing Agility"
Jennifer Capriati -- "Burning Talent"
C'mon, "pushing the limits"? "Burning talent"? The Aussie brain trust that came up with those obviously ran out of gas toward the end and just wanted to hit the bars for some VB
's. In the vein of "truth in advertising," Tennis-X breaks down each players' "real" super powers:
Super hero -- Super power:
Lleyton Hewitt -- Blinding speed in ducking media requests and pulling out of tournaments
Andre Agassi -- Bullet-like return to the baby-making factory in 2003
Juan Carlos Ferrero -- Stinging year-ending ability in losing last six matches and drop the ball on No. 1
Andy Roddick -- Thunderbolt power in pissing off European players, pissing on chair umpires
Mark Philippoussis -- Missile-like accuracy in finding a way to get injured every other month
Roger Federer -- Magical sleep-inducing effect on the media, a hand-off of Pete Sampras' super power
Paradorn Srichaphan -- Spell-binding invisibility power on claycourts, ability to drop out of Top 10 at will
Serena Williams -- Hindquarters an intimidating force in the catsuit
Justine Henin-Hardenne -- Blinding brilliance emitted from yellow laser-like teeth (see: Crest Whitestrips)
Kim Clijsters -- Pushing the limits of losing in big matches and tournament finals (six in 2003)
Venus Williams -- Amazing ability to turn off competitive fire and lose to younger sister every time
Jennifer Capriati -- Burning talent in choking big matches, wearing ill-advised midriff-baring tops
Overlooked super powers:
Marat Safin -- Super match-tanking ability, inherited from countryman Yevgeny Kafelnikov
Tim Henman -- Ability to create a force field in front of himself in the Wimbledon semifinals
James Blake -- Stealth technology to drop off the U.S. tennis radar screen
Nicolas Lapentti -- Wondertwin powers with brother Giovanni to go the distance in every best-of-five set match
Greg Rusedski -- Light-speed ability to jam foot in mouth at opportune media moments
Maria Sharapova -- Power to make men pitch a tent with porn-soundtrack grunting during matches