How is Lleyton perceived in Australia? - MensTennisForums.com

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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 06-07-2005, 06:13 AM Thread Starter
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How is Lleyton perceived in Australia?

Is Lleyton popular among Aussie tennis fans? Do they get a kick out of his (rude) behavior? Does he get made fun of a lot? Is he well-loved? Just curious.

I personally think he's pretty pugnacious. But that Alicia Molik is the sweetest thing ever. I hope she recovers soon from her injury because she's gotta be one of the most winsome tennis players I've seen.
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 06-07-2005, 06:22 AM
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Re: How is Lleyton perceived in Australia?

I guess it depends who you ask.

I came in here because I'm far from a fan of his and surprisingly, I get along with most of his fans. When he first started his career (when he was teenager/20ish) I couldn't stand him. His on-court behaviour drives me insane although he has grown up a fair bit in recent years. I still think there is no need for a lot of what he does. Whether he intends it like that, or if it's just to get himself pumped up...there's no need to show such disrespect to your opponent.

However, having said all that. It's probably also got a lot to do with the media. I don't know if you're a Roddick fan, but I get the impression the media often go overboard with him also. You'd think he was a god or something. To me, he is the sort of player that a LOT of australians will support, purely because he is Aussie, and is good at what he does. Sometimes people are blinded by patriotism, sometimes people just love the way he fights til the end. I dare say some people even love his use of the vicht, and another sign used by an australian cricketer.

I'll get a letter posted in Aus Tennis Magazine this month...and post it here... It's not just me that feels this way.

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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 06-07-2005, 06:29 AM
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Re: How is Lleyton perceived in Australia?

Quote:
LLEYTON'S LEGACY?

Every Saturday morning, wherever I'm playing in my area, I can guarantee at least one child will scream "C'mon". What does this do? This turns the game from a fun activity into a competitive match. And once it becomes competitive, kids will do anything to win. And when this happens, kids will stop enjoying the sport that they once loved. That (Barb McCartney, [love him and leave him]<<letter from last month) is what Lleyton Hewitt has done to kids worldwide.

Luke Sheehan , Victoria Australia
If I can find Barb's letter, I'll post it also. She criticised people for hassling Lleyton's on court behaviour. Poor Barb. Get over it and take a look at the other hundreds of players who know how to play nice.

Maybe you should have posted this in General Messages? There's gonna be a LOT of bias here.
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 06-07-2005, 07:02 AM Thread Starter
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Re: How is Lleyton perceived in Australia?

I actually want to talk to the biased fans. I want to hear from Lleyton lovers about him. I totally promise I am not a troll who's looking to argue. I am just genuinely curious about how Aussies view him.

I am American. During the Olympics, I obviously cheered on the Americans. In swimming and track & field, some of the American athletes were so cocky and arrogant. It disgusted me. I was annoyed to have such cocky jerks representing me on the world stage. I love humble athletes.
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 06-07-2005, 09:08 AM
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Re: How is Lleyton perceived in Australia?

From what I've seen around people are really half/half as to whether they like him. A lot of people I know like him as a person off-court but on court can't stand him. Fair enough that's their opinion. But to a lot of his aussie fans they like that fact that he does fight til the end etc. Also a lot of it may be because he is the only aussie male player in the top 50 and they're looking for someone to cheer for from their own country. I have heard some people say that they're blinded by patriotism during Davis Cup and the AO. Personally I find his on-court behaviour not so bad. I know he yells and screams a lot but I'm convinced that's a personal thing. I've been a fan of his for a long time and from the beginning I thought it was more of a way to pump himself up when he gets tired or falls into a lull. I've also noticed he does most of his yelling towards the end of a match, pretty much at the climax. I don't know if you saw it, but in his quarter-final match against Nalbandian in the AO this year, from memory his yelling was concentrated in the last set and the tail end of the fourth (could be wrong though, it was kind of a late night)

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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 06-07-2005, 01:42 PM
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Re: How is Lleyton perceived in Australia?

i'm not sure i should intervene here since i'm not aussie, but what i like in tennis, apart from the game itself it's the fact that at top level it's truly global and allows me not to be patriotic and cheer for individuals just because i like their game and/or their attitude, regardless of their nationality

*quand les vies ne sont plus qu'ombres, restent nos rêves à inventer*
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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 06-07-2005, 02:28 PM
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Re: How is Lleyton perceived in Australia?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tournesol
i'm not sure i should intervene here since i'm not aussie, but what i like in tennis, apart from the game itself it's the fact that at top level it's truly global and allows me not to be patriotic and cheer for individuals just because i like their game and/or their attitude, regardless of their nationality
Yeah, me too. Patriotism has never really been an issue with me. It is truly global. I'm not an aussie so I don't know, but I see kids here playing tennis using the vicht and saying C'MON all the time, so it's probably like that in Australia too.

(I only say C'MON at myself when I fuck something up, like Federer does )
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 06-07-2005, 08:48 PM
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Re: How is Lleyton perceived in Australia?

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Originally Posted by tournesol
i'm not sure i should intervene here since i'm not aussie, but what i like in tennis, apart from the game itself it's the fact that at top level it's truly global and allows me not to be patriotic and cheer for individuals just because i like their game and/or their attitude, regardless of their nationality
great point (see my sig Sweden, Australia, Austria)

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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-06-2005, 01:36 AM
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Re: How is Lleyton perceived in Australia?

I know I'm very late to this thread but it's such a great question I'd like to answer it.

Where I am, Lleyton is extremely popular. To give an example, when Lleyton won the US Open, the switch operator sent an email to the entire firm announcing it (it was about 8am here) and despite a strong policy aganst sending non-work related email to all (with 800 people in the office, there has to be!), the response was overwhelmingly favourable. I would guess more people stay up to watch Lleyton's big middle-of-the-night matches than don't. Some people certainly don't agree with particular aspects of his on-court persona, but generally even these people think he's interesting rather than annoying and appreciate his charity work and his commitment to Davis Cup and other Australian players.

However, there are a lot of different kinds of Australian subcultures and I think Lleyton is viewed diffently in them. I work in the corporate world right in the middle of Sydney and virtually all my colleagues and clients are highly educated and relatively successful in their chosen field. Many of my colleagues have worked overseas, quite a few were born overseas and have chosen to become Australians and about 10% are expats here on a medium term basis. Basically, in this corner of Australia:

1. If you asked people to describe Australians, they would be more likely to say "work hard, play hard" than "laid back, with a "she'll be right mate" attitude". This is enforced by the view of overseas colleagues of Australians they have worked with.

2. Xenophobia is frowned on (and in fact very rare) but a decent dose of patriotism is considered healthy.

3. Ambition, hard work and competitiveness are common, respected qualities, though preferably they should be offset by good teamwork and community service.

Remind you of anyone?

Now, many Australians would probably say that inner-Sydney lawyers have nothing to do with the "real" Australia, but in fact over half our population lives in the three biggest cities and we have one of the highest proportions in the world of population working in the commercial sector, so it's a sizeable representation if by no means the only one.

Lleyton has also won many women fans for his public support of Kim and then Bec, and also his defence of Lindsay after Pat Cash's "shotputter" comment. I have noticed this particularly among my mother's friends, for example, who seem to think he's adorable (not so sure this matches Lleyton's view of himself )

In fact, I have noticed that many older people seem to like Lleyton better than his age group does. I suspect this is because they don't expect an 18 year old to act mature all the time, and because they know it's unrealistic to expect every player to be Pat Rafter. Or maybe they remember other short, dynamic players and think he could be a whole lot worse

EDIT: BTW, the patriotic aspect is one part but not the only one. Federer is also very popular.

Last edited by Lisbeth; 07-06-2005 at 01:46 AM.
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-18-2005, 03:49 AM
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Re: How is Lleyton perceived in Australia?

It depends really... i've got a few friends who can't stand lleyton because he "complains" and stuff but then i've got a few friends that absolutley love him! I remember though when lleyton first started, the media hassled him so much, because he was so different to ther players. He was the first to wear his hat backwards (i think) so the media didnt like it, because generally, tennis used to be conservative.

Anyway thats just my opinion

Marat Safin
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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-18-2005, 02:13 PM
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Re: How is Lleyton perceived in Australia?

the media plays a huge role in this.
The Oz papers are generally fair, but where they have a chance they diss lleyton a lot. The only uniform exception to this is the Sydney morning herald, which carried a long piece on how lleyton put coria in his place in the first tie, and only a few lines (linked to another paper) when lleyton lost the 4th tie.
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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-18-2005, 02:39 PM
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Re: How is Lleyton perceived in Australia?

In a way, the way Lleyton is treated by the media in AUS reminds of how Andre was treated by the US media during the early part of his career (with the caveat that Lleyton and tennis is general has a higher profile in AUS than Andre and tennis do in the USA). The majority of the press wouldn't miss an opportunity to take pot shots at him, and Andre was perceived as an arrogant, snot-nosed punk whose ego was too big for him. The lowest point might have been when somebody overheard a late night conversation among Andre and some of his crew at an IHOP making disparaging comments about playing Davis Cup and the DC team, including the then-captain.

There was a real "gotcha" glee among the press in reporting that conversation. I distinctly remembering one writer making smirking comments about why a trendy sports star like Andre even would eat at an IHOP (it's an inexpensive chain usually open 24/7 and definitely not known for its fine dining -- the "P" in the name stands for "pancakes"). The (in)famous Nikon "Image Is Everything" advertising campaign and the Zen Master" comments at the US Open certainly didn't go unnoticed by the press. BTW, Andre's propensity for shouting "faggot" at himself (and others) when he got mad got him in hot water with gay rights groups like GLADD on at least two occasions that I remember.

But Andre matured, got more savvy about things, become more careful about what he said to the press, and eventually, they got off his case. Needless to say, he's now an Elder Statesman of the game, and the press worships him. And he's done AIDS benefits with Elton John, which is no doubt the gold standard of gay acceptance.

I think that we will probably see the same transformation with Lleyton, even if he doesn't play until he's 34. If you just stick around long enough, the heat goes away.



C'mon, Lleyton!

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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-18-2005, 02:49 PM
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Re: How is Lleyton perceived in Australia?

It's good that you bring this up Marlene, considering the outrage Lleyton is likely to get over the "poof" comment directed at Coria during DC.
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post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-18-2005, 03:18 PM
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Re: How is Lleyton perceived in Australia?

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Originally Posted by alexandria
It's good that you bring this up Marlene, considering the outrage Lleyton is likely to get over the "poof" comment directed at Coria during DC.
Lleyton certainly isn't a saint, but he's certainly not the only player out there with a foul mouth. What makes me is that the same people who will themselves say things like "that's so gay!" will suddenly get all righteous and PC when Lleyton is concerned.

BTW, everyone remember when Tiger Woods get overheard making jokes about lesbian golfers on the LPGA tour?



C'mon, Lleyton!

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post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-18-2005, 11:35 PM
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Re: How is Lleyton perceived in Australia?

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Originally Posted by mitalidas
the media plays a huge role in this.
The Oz papers are generally fair, but where they have a chance they diss lleyton a lot. The only uniform exception to this is the Sydney morning herald, which carried a long piece on how lleyton put coria in his place in the first tie, and only a few lines (linked to another paper) when lleyton lost the 4th tie.
I'm interested you have that perception because SMH is my daily paper and trust me they are as rough on Lleyton as anyone. His Wimbledon first round loss was front page news (main front page, not sports!) two days in a row and then they spent a week slamming his family.

I think if there was this difference this time it's more likely because 1. Saturday papers traditionally have a lot more sports news than Monday papers here (being, amongst other things, 4 times as large ) and 2. Sunday is most SMH journalists' day off.
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