Is tennis without character? - MensTennisForums.com

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post #1 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-01-2006, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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Is tennis without character?

Hope this hasn't been posted yet, more Disney Adventures:

-------------------------

Is tennis without character?

Wed, 01 Nov 2006

Tennis bosses need to do a better job of developing characters in order to safeguard the future of the sport, according to ATP chief Etienne De Villiers.

De Villiers walked into a storm at the Paris Masters this week after the top three players in the world all pulled out, including world number one Roger Federer.

Those withdrawals left the Paris tournament short of star names and he wants to create more characters in the sport who can carry a tournament on the strength of their personality.

"We need to tell a better story of tennis. We need to build tournaments that tell a better story," said the South African.

"We need more characters, players who people care about.

"Once we have that we will be more successful at the top and the better the halo effect will be on our smaller tournaments."

Since the 1970s and 1980s, men's tennis has often been seen as suffering from a lack of warmth and, as a result, there have been fewer and fewer marketable stars emerging.

That is something De Villiers wants to change, as well as restructuring the tennis calendar to ensure the best players turn up to the biggest tournaments — something that has not happened in Paris for the last two years.

On Monday the crowd figures reflected the disenchantment.

The 13 000-capacity Bercy arena was barely a third full throughout the day. "What we need to do with our marketing and television efforts is focus the media and fans on our biggest tournaments," added the ATP chief.

"What we've never done in tennis is give the fans what they want, so we're doing a lot of research now.

"And that is focussing on dressing up the tennis product to make it more attractive to the public.

"The tournaments are the body of tennis but it needs soul and the players are its soul.

"As a sport we have done a lousy job of developing characters. It was easier in the past to be a character, but now it's a lot harder to get some awareness like (Jimmy) Connors and (John) McEnroe."

Certain players like Federer or Rafael Nadal are crowd pleasers, partly through their own success and partly through their growing rivalry.

But that has left a vacuum behind them, meaning that without them many events loses a large amount of their appeal.

But De Villiers believes that can be changed.

"We need to identify 12-15 guys and say: 'How are we going to manage them?"

AFP

http://sport.iafrica.com/tennis/news/360146.htm
------------------

Makes the tour sound like a tv show - but what do you think?

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post #2 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-01-2006, 09:21 AM
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Re: Is tennis without character?

Mr Disney is a like running sewer, full of shit.

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".

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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
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post #3 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-01-2006, 09:46 AM
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Re: Is tennis without character?

De Villiers should switch to K-1.

Tennis isn't lacking charismatic players, it lacks players who are focused enough on tennis to really step up and win something big. Nalby, Safin, PHM, Malisse etc. Let's hope that the Nadal generation doesn't consist of talented headcases only.


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post #4 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-01-2006, 09:49 AM
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Re: Is tennis without character?

De Villiers you dickhead you should go and ask Vince McMahon from the WWE, he could help you build characters, gimmicks and bad storylines and give the players some good steroids.

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
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post #5 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-01-2006, 11:07 AM
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Re: Is tennis without character?

Mr. Disney just doesn't know when to keep his trap shut...

Why not ask some contenders from "Idols" to come over and fill the courts?
Oops. Better not say that aloud, might give him ideas...

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post #6 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-01-2006, 11:20 AM
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Re: Is tennis without character?

Why does he assume that "character" means being loud, over-the-top and obnoxious like Connors and McEnroe? True they were great players - but their "characters" were quite repellent to me and quite a lot of others too. And while there is obviously a place for them in our sport, many people prefer players who let their tennis do the talking. Etienne de Villiers is too wrapped up in "show business" and his plastic Disney world and knows next to nothing about the sport, the players or the fans. What an idiot

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post #7 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-01-2006, 11:25 AM
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Re: Is tennis without character?

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Originally Posted by Rosie View Post
Why does he assume that "character" means being loud, over-the-top and obnoxious like Connors and McEnroe? True they were great players - but their "characters" were quite repellent to me and quite a lot of others too. And while there is obviously a place for them in our sport, many people prefer players who let their tennis do the talking. Etienne de Villiers is too wrapped up in "show business" and his plastic Disney world and knows next to nothing about the sport, the players or the fans. What an idiot
Heh, don't you know ?
Loud = charismatic.
Black = charismatic.

Written rules in the tennis media.
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post #8 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-01-2006, 11:34 AM
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Re: Is tennis without character?

No one likes loud and obnoxious characters really and I find them off putting, There is certainly a way to be interesting than drawing such an attention
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post #9 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-01-2006, 11:35 AM
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Re: Is tennis without character?

Going against the crowd here.

For once I have to agree with de Villiers.

I've always thought that tennis had some players with a lot of "character" appeal that could cut across nationalities...besides Rafa and King Fed, we have Safin, Gonzalez, Marcos, Lleyton, and Andy R. And some of the young guns coming up could definitely have some fan appeal - Richard, Tomas, and especially Gael. Maybe Nole.

But they aren't marketed properly....the entire sport isn't marketed properly. Tennis is a business. Businesses rely on marketing. And in sport, personality is part of the marketing.

And for the record, I'm so tired of hearing Connors and Johnny Mac bashed as if their brashness was the only reason people watched them...maybe for some people - like the type of person who only watches motor sports for the crashes. But for the tennis fan back then, they were awesome tennis players. And yes, they knew how to entertain. Sorrrrrry, I know entertainment in sport is a 4 letter word for some of you...but its part of sport, and if it bothers you that much, you might want to think of another way to spend your time. But beware of what you pick ... film is driven by personality and marketing besides product quality, music is driven by personality and marketing besides product quality, etc. etc.
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post #10 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-01-2006, 11:40 AM
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Re: Is tennis without character?

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Originally Posted by NicoFan View Post
And for the record, I'm so tired of hearing Connors and Johnny Mac bashed as if their brashness was the only reason people watched them...maybe for some people - like the type of person who only watches motor sports for the crashes. But for the tennis fan back then, they were awesome tennis players.
I totally agree with this.

Today, when talking about Connors or McEnroe, their "antics" is about the only thing people bring up. I had to cringe more than once when McEnroe had one of his tantrums but John McEnroe was a fun and very creative player to watch in action. Too much focus on his "antics" these days and not enough on his "tennis".
Connors had an obnoxious and very "in-your-face" attitude but he was fun to watch as a tennis player.
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post #11 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-01-2006, 11:50 AM
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Re: Is tennis without character?

What they need to do UNTIL they change the calender is change the surface of bercy. Its one of the worst and is very unforgiving to the joints, etc. When the Masters cup is coming up right after then of course the top players in the world will want to pull out especially if its a surface like that.

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post #12 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-01-2006, 12:02 PM
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Re: Is tennis without character?

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Originally Posted by NicoFan View Post
Going against the crowd here.

For once I have to agree with de Villiers.

I've always thought that tennis had some players with a lot of "character" appeal that could cut across nationalities...besides Rafa and King Fed, we have Safin, Gonzalez, Marcos, Lleyton, and Andy R. And some of the young guns coming up could definitely have some fan appeal - Richard, Tomas, and especially Gael. Maybe Nole.

But they aren't marketed properly....the entire sport isn't marketed properly. Tennis is a business. Businesses rely on marketing. And in sport, personality is part of the marketing.

And for the record, I'm so tired of hearing Connors and Johnny Mac bashed as if their brashness was the only reason people watched them...maybe for some people - like the type of person who only watches motor sports for the crashes. But for the tennis fan back then, they were awesome tennis players. And yes, they knew how to entertain. Sorrrrrry, I know entertainment in sport is a 4 letter word for some of you...but its part of sport, and if it bothers you that much, you might want to think of another way to spend your time. But beware of what you pick ... film is driven by personality and marketing besides product quality, music is driven by personality and marketing besides product quality, etc. etc.
Yes...... you see, for me sport IS entertainment. That's what you're there for, if I wanted to follow "stories" with "characters" I'd go read a book or see a movie. It really infuriates me to see players being charged with carrying a tournament "on the strength of their personality", rather than on the strength of their tennis. It's an attempt to appeal to a mass audience that knows and cares very little about tennis in the first place, and that problem surely has to be addressed first before you start marketing personalities to people who aren't going to pay any attention, even if the players start juggling tennis balls and flirting with their cheerleading squads before they go on court.

You forgot to mention some of the other characters in the game BTW, the likes of Ljubicic, Nalbandian, Davydenko, Robredo, Stepanek.... I'm looking forward immensely to the marketing drive around them. Mr Disney can screw around with the tournament format, the structure of the calendar, points and prize money all he likes, but the one thing he can't do is artificially create personalities and "stories" where there are none.

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ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I remember this one time when I went on a vacation on the Maldives. That was in the year 2001, I think. I went to this spa. I went to walk around with my girlfriend. I walk in, and we want to book a spa. This guy goes, "AHH, I remember you. You beat Sampras. I saw you on TV." That was like, really, how can you remember me? This guy has probably never been off his island and still knows me. I was a little bit shocked. Then I went to play tennis with him because he was actually the tennis teacher. It was nice.

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ROGER FEDERER: No. It was at the front desk. I didn't walk in naked.
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post #13 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-01-2006, 12:10 PM
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Re: Is tennis without character?

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Originally Posted by Sjengster View Post
You forgot to mention some of the other characters in the game BTW, the likes of Ljubicic, Nalbandian, Davydenko, Robredo, Stepanek.... I'm looking forward immensely to the marketing drive around them. Mr Disney can screw around with the tournament format, the structure of the calendar, points and prize money all he likes, but the one thing he can't do is artificially create personalities and "stories" where there are none.

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post #14 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-01-2006, 12:20 PM
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Re: Is tennis without character?

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Originally Posted by Sjengster View Post
You forgot to mention some of the other characters in the game BTW, the likes of Ljubicic, Nalbandian, Davydenko, Robredo, Stepanek.... I'm looking forward immensely to the marketing drive around them. Mr Disney can screw around with the tournament format, the structure of the calendar, points and prize money all he likes, but the one thing he can't do is artificially create personalities and "stories" where there are none.
Yeah...promoting a player like Davydenko is always going to be a challenge but I don't think that the point is to artificially create personalities and stories where there are none but to put the spot lights more on the personalities and stories you never get to hear about right now since the emphasis is too much on the top guys.

There are a lot of fun personalities out there and we rarely get to hear about them! The proof is Tursunov. If it wasn't for his blog for example, would the general public know him?
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post #15 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-01-2006, 12:20 PM
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Re: Is tennis without character?

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I will add my for that too! Brilliant post. Thanks Sjengster for putting into words exactly how I feel on this.

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