Why do Americans need American players to enjoy/appreciate tennis? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Why do Americans need American players to enjoy/appreciate tennis?

gillian
09-04-2006, 09:41 PM
Or why does that perception persist?

Does Australia's interest in tennis wane when no Australians are at the top of the game? France? England? Germany?

Or is this just an American phenomenon?

Tommy_Vercetti
09-04-2006, 09:44 PM
So ridiculous.

You ever seen fans from most other countries that even travel abroad like say for the Chileans or Marcos and the way they act? You think in Cyprus that anyone is as popular in tennis or that they don't care if he wins?

Truth is that for so long, the US players dominated the slams fo so long that it's simply something the American public is use to seeing.

I don't understand why it's used in a negative context, please. If England or France has as many grand slam champions in the past decade, they'd be just as behind them if not more.

They simply haven't had the numbers in the past.

And a sidenote, not being supportive of the players from your own tennis schools and countries is not a virtue.

djoky
09-04-2006, 09:45 PM
we dont well atleast i dont i hate all american players including andre the only one i like is robby and i dont know why i even like him

delsa
09-04-2006, 09:47 PM
The RG crowd fell in love with Guga and it was a love story with him till the end. They're faithful to him (even against French players). And on the contrary they loathed Leconte...

There were some other nice "love stories" like this in RG and other Slams.

I don't think any crowd as a whole is that "partisan" but the part of the crowd that is stupid like that is the one which makes the more noise. You can't stop them. You "undergo" them, you try to bear with them until you get really pissed off...When you try to make them stop you get throwed things at you, insulted et al (i know it, it's always the same in Bercy...) etc... I've never been to RG except once and to any other tennis tournament.

It's pretty much the same everywhere. No national specificity about it.

Deboogle!.
09-04-2006, 09:47 PM
We can only guess.....

America's sports market is very saturated, tennis is pretty low on the ladder. When you have an American that's on tv all the time, etc., etc., your non-tennis fans will take notice. For actual tennis fans, I don't think it matters much.

We're a patriotic people and we like to support and pay attention to our own successes. If done to a reasonable extent, I don't see a problem with that. Moreover, we are used to having champions.

I mean, the way England latches onto its stars and even potential stars or the way the media pays such close attention to Lleyton and Flip's seemingly every move, it seems to me that even more attention is paid on those countries' tennis stars than here. So IS it really that much worse in the US? Maybe, I'm not sure. :shrug:

Tommy_Vercetti
09-04-2006, 09:48 PM
There's as much penis envy in MTF as the UN, that's why it's asked and talked about so much Deb.

Jagermeister
09-04-2006, 09:49 PM
I think it's because there's always been American players at the top of the game. It is only recently that tennis dominance has shifted towards the rest of the globe. So I think it's more of a "getting used to" phase. Other countries are definitely more interested when their own players start doing well.

This is not an American-only phenomenon. Don't judge us because of all those turds sitting on the J-block acting like drunken assholes.

Fee
09-04-2006, 09:49 PM
Couldn't tell you, my first favorite player was Borg.

NYCtennisfan
09-04-2006, 09:53 PM
As Deb said, the sports market is so saturated, there has HAS to be an American player for there to be general interest. Tennis is competing with much more popular team sports and then with golf as well.

I remember reading earlier this year about how Gonzo was surprised that the Davis Cup tie was not front page news like it was back home. It's just not the biggest sport around and has way too much competition to ever really make it out of where it is now in all honesty. The only time tennis is ever really big news here is during the Open because it is played here, the time difference is not a factor, American players usually do well, and so on. Agassi winning that match against Baggy was the top story on late night Sportscenter on ESPN. That never happens. Even the US Open final doesn't get that because the final is usually played on the opening day of football.

The networks are also going to keep going with what has worked in the past. American playerrs always generate more interest here and that means higher ratings. Now, if this happens every single time, of course the networks, metdia, etc. are going to pimp the American players.

gillian
09-04-2006, 09:53 PM
We can only guess.....

America's sports market is very saturated, tennis is pretty low on the ladder. When you have an American that's on tv all the time, etc., etc., your non-tennis fans will take notice. For actual tennis fans, I don't think it matters much.

We're a patriotic people and we like to support and pay attention to our own successes. If done to a reasonable extent, I don't see a problem with that. Moreover, we are used to having champions.

I mean, the way England latches onto its stars and even potential stars or the way the media pays such close attention to Lleyton and Flip's seemingly every move, it seems to me that even more attention is paid on those countries' tennis stars than here. So IS it really that much worse in the US? Maybe, I'm not sure. :shrug:

Good point, but I just get tired of all the "2 Americans left in the draw;" or - as in the case of this year's Wimbledon "no Americans left in the draw" talk. UGH. There were no Brits in the Wimbledon final, but England still watched. I just wonder why it is a problem for US fans to just appreciate good tennis, even if it's not being played by Americans.

DrJules
09-04-2006, 09:54 PM
Wimbledon has often shown great interest in non-British players. Possibly owing to days of empire the British have always tended to be more aware of the rest of the world than many countries.

Tommy_Vercetti
09-04-2006, 09:56 PM
Well since that isn't the case, the question is really off.

It will still be packed and aired on network television.

If you haven't figured out why, in general, casual fans root for people that speak the same language and have the same background and nationality then you need to be angry at genetics for not giving you common sense, not US fans.

NYCtennisfan
09-04-2006, 09:56 PM
We're a patriotic people and we like to support and pay attention to our own successes. If done to a reasonable extent, I don't see a problem with that. Moreover, we are used to having champions.

I would say that many citizens of a bunch of different countries that I have visited are much more patriotic than Americans.

But yes, Americans are used to having athletes winning and winning a lot so when Americans AREN'T winning, there is less interest. This isn't true of all Americans, but it is probably true for most Americans and T.V. ratings have proven that time and time again.

NYCtennisfan
09-04-2006, 09:58 PM
Good point, but I just get tired of all the "2 Americans left in the draw;" or - as in the case of this year's Wimbledon "no Americans left in the draw" talk. UGH. There were no Brits in the Wimbledon final, but England still watched. I just wonder why it is a problem for US fans to just appreciate good tennis, even if it's not being played by Americans.

A lot of diehard American tennis fans do, but not the masses. There is way too much competition for their TV viewing time and history has proven that if an American is not involved, they won't be watching.

DrJules
09-04-2006, 10:00 PM
There's as much penis envy in MTF as the UN, that's why it's asked and talked about so much Deb.

Suffering sexual deprivation. :lol: :lol: :lol:

DrJules
09-04-2006, 10:03 PM
I would say that many citizens of a bunch of different countries that I have visited are much more patriotic than Americans.

But yes, Americans are used to having athletes winning and winning a lot so when Americans AREN'T winning, there is less interest. This isn't true of all Americans, but it is probably true for most Americans and T.V. ratings have proven that time and time again.

A lot may have to with the fact the USA has the population and size of most continents. It borders only 2 countries. Therefore, it is self contained and likely to be more insular than much smaller countries.

NicoFan
09-04-2006, 10:06 PM
From what I saw and heard at the US Open, Rafa is becoming extremely popular despite the fact that he's not an American. Now its up to TV to make sure that he's marketed properly - especially with his rivalry with Fed. And the USTA has to do their part too - I heard a number of people comment that they were surprised the USTA in promoting the US Open didn't use Rafa more - and said (rolling their eyes) probably because he isn't an American. I guess these people should have their citizenships taken away from them. ;) Not patriotic enough. :lol: And that includes me.

Tommy_Vercetti
09-04-2006, 10:07 PM
And why US sports teams that travel the East and West coasts are traveling much greater distances than most of the sports in Europe that you never stop hearing about how "international" they are.

Socket
09-04-2006, 10:08 PM
Germany's interest in tennis went into the toilet after Graf and Becker retired. Germans wanted to see Germans play. No different from any other country.

gillian
09-04-2006, 10:09 PM
Well since that isn't the case, the question is really off.

It will still be packed and aired on network television.

If you haven't figured out why, in general, casual fans root for people that speak the same language and have the same background and nationality then you need to be angry at genetics for not giving you common sense, not US fans.

Okaaaaay. :rolleyes:

NYCtennisfan
09-04-2006, 10:10 PM
A lot may have to with the fact the USA has the population and size of most continents. It borders only 2 countries. Therefore, it is self contained and likely to be more insular than much smaller countries.

Yes, this probably has a lot to do with it as well. :)

DrJules
09-04-2006, 10:14 PM
I think it's because there's always been American players at the top of the game. It is only recently that tennis dominance has shifted towards the rest of the globe. So I think it's more of a "getting used to" phase. Other countries are definitely more interested when their own players start doing well.

This is not an American-only phenomenon. Don't judge us because of all those turds sitting on the J-block acting like drunken assholes.

Are you talking about the James Blake fan club :lol: :lol: :lol:

DrJules
09-04-2006, 10:25 PM
If you haven't figured out why, in general, casual fans root for people that speak the same language and have the same background and nationality then you need to be angry at genetics for not giving you common sense, not US fans.

Yes, I can understand people supporting players who are most like themselves. Except the USA has strongly diverted from its White Ango Saxon Protestant routes to include numerous people who do not share that ethnic identity. A lot of white American probably have more in common with Maria Sharapova than the Williams sisters. Similarly numerous people in England have more in common with white Americans than white Americans can ever have with the black or Hispanic communities.

cobalt60
09-04-2006, 10:30 PM
Or why does that perception persist?

Does Australia's interest in tennis wane when no Australians are at the top of the game? France? England? Germany?

Or is this just an American phenomenon?
And what are you basing this observation on? The media, MTF posts or something else? I don't think it is only an American trait.

DrJules
09-04-2006, 10:35 PM
And what are you basing this observation on? The media, MTF posts or something else? I don't think it is only an American trait.

It certainly is a global problem; this my nation/religion is better than yours is rampant all over the planet and causes nothing but problems

Tommy_Vercetti
09-04-2006, 10:37 PM
That's very politically correct of you Dr. Jules.

Congrats.

Fee
09-04-2006, 10:56 PM
Good point, but I just get tired of all the "2 Americans left in the draw;" or - as in the case of this year's Wimbledon "no Americans left in the draw" talk. UGH. There were no Brits in the Wimbledon final, but England still watched. I just wonder why it is a problem for US fans to just appreciate good tennis, even if it's not being played by Americans.

Therein lies the problem. US sports fans don't appreciate tennis in general, played by Americans or not. Tennis is appreciated by tennis fans and the number of us in this country seems to be dwindling unfotunately.

SHB
09-04-2006, 11:56 PM
It certainly is a global problem; this my nation/religion is better than yours is rampant all over the planet and causes nothing but problems

Patriotism certainly is global, but it's not a problem per se. There's a difference between normal, healthy patriotism and extreme nationalism.

As for your earlier comment, while the United States is a very diverse country, it is nevertheless one with a strong national identity, like most countries. And for most Americans, I believe, national identity overrides ethnic/religious identity, though that certainly can factor in as well.

tangerine_dream
09-05-2006, 01:01 AM
Re: Why do Americans need American players to enjoy/appreciate tennis?
They don't. As far as I can tell, it's a myth. Just judging from MTF alone, I see far more Americans embracing non-American players than vice-versa.

Germany's interest in tennis went into the toilet after Graf and Becker retired. Germans wanted to see Germans play. No different from any other country.
:yeah:

gillian
09-05-2006, 01:39 AM
They don't. As far as I can tell, it's a myth. Just judging from MTF alone, I see far more Americans embracing non-American players than vice-versa.

Going by this board and other tennis fans I know, you're right; but the media here in the U.S. seem wedded to this idea that Americans only want to see Americans, and I just wonder why that myth persists.

JW10S
09-05-2006, 02:15 AM
Good point, but I just get tired of all the "2 Americans left in the draw;" or - as in the case of this year's Wimbledon "no Americans left in the draw" talk. UGH. There were no Brits in the Wimbledon final, but England still watched. I just wonder why it is a problem for US fans to just appreciate good tennis, even if it's not being played by Americans.

I'm convinced that the Tennis Channel is covering the French Open next year simply because no other American network wanted to air an event where the US players have so little success. True or not, the Amercian media believe that Americans are only interested in American players.

Pigpen Stinks
09-05-2006, 02:38 AM
If they aired another special feature on James Blake and how he grew up playing on public courts in Harlem, and attended Harvard, and had a horrible neck injury diving into a net post in Italy, and lost his father, and shortly thereafter developed shingles, and lost feeling in half his face, and then came back and became a top 10 player, and lost an epic 5 set match to Agassi at the US Open, and how he's such a beloved guy, except in the eyes of Vince Spadea - if they kept emphasizing this for the 4,396th time, tennis would be a much more popular sport in this country. The media just needs to learn how to capture a story.

RogiFan88
09-05-2006, 03:01 AM
they have zilch imagination

Tommy_Vercetti
09-05-2006, 04:49 AM
Well done PigPen.

Sparko1030
09-05-2006, 06:26 AM
I heard a number of people comment that they were surprised the USTA in promoting the US Open didn't use Rafa more - and said (rolling their eyes) probably because he isn't an American. I guess these people should have their citizenships taken away from them. ;) Not patriotic enough. :lol: And that includes me.

:lol: You'll have to include me in that group too Nicofan! ;) A player's nationality is immaterial to me. I'm drawn to personalities and style of play, not flags when it comes to tennis. And no US players are on my short list of faves. :shrug: Maybe I'll get sent to Gitmo for not being patriotic enough.... :devil:

16681
09-05-2006, 06:28 AM
I think the American tennis fans do enjoy and appreciate players from other countries. However, fans in general do tend to be more interested in players from their own country. Especially if they are in a crowd at a Tournament. If a tennis tournament is being played in Spain and one of the players is Spanish while the other player isn't--who is that crowd going to be favoring? I feel sure it would be the Spanish player.

oz_boz
09-05-2006, 11:04 AM
The anwer to the thread question is obvious, you generally have more interest in your countrymen and that is the same in every country.

Is the tennis interest in USA lower now than in the 1990's? If so, wasn't there a similar situation between 1985 and 1990? The Americans weren't exactly dominating then. (McEnroe had a USO final in 85 and next Slam final with an American was Chang in RG 89).

kokket
09-05-2006, 11:38 AM
When u have not a campion in a sport nobody in the country take really care

i think its not only in america, here in germany is the same thing

When Graf and Becker left Tennis nobody give a F**** in Tennis. Specially the Media.

An exemple: Wimbledon 2004 Fed against Roddick no.1 vs no.2

In that year ARD have the TV rights for the Wimbledon Final.
And what happened ? Cause of raining they transmit the Prolog of the Tour the France. And after the rain was over they still showing the Tour.

I was really pissed of and wrote an e-mail to ARD - they respond: We excuse bla bla bla. We decide to show the Tour because we have a better TV rating with the Tour bla bla bla......

The same will be with Forumula 1 one day when Schumacher retire.

Federer and Nadal have many Fans all over the world. But its not the same if their were americans or germans for the public interest in the corresponding country

tangerine_dream
01-09-2007, 09:48 PM
Just to give people an idea of how (un)popular tennis is in the USA: it ranks as low as soccer. You really can't get much lower than that.

The good news: men's tennis is more popular than bowling and college women's sports. ;)

http://www.sportsmediainc.com/tennisweek/index.cfm?func=showarticle&newsid=16393&bannerregion=
Harris Poll Shows Tennis Trails Several Sports In Popularity
By Tennis Week
01/09/2007

Professional tennis kicks off its Grand Slam season at the Australian Open on Monday, but given the choice of following tennis or another sport, many American sports fans would rather punt.

A new Harris Poll released today reveals men’s professional tennis trails eight other men’s sports: the NFL, major league baseball, college football, auto racing, the NBA, college basketball, golf and hockey as the favorite sport among American adults who follow more than one sport.

Harris Interactive conducted an online survey of 2,309 American adults, of whom 1,219 follow more than one sport. The study, conducted Dec. 12-18, 2006, asked participants: "If you had to choose, which one sport would you say is your favorite?"

The NFL led the list with 29 percent of the respondents picking pro football as their favorite sport. Since Harris Interactive began asking this question in 1985, the NFL has always been the top choice and its popularity has risen five percent compared to 1985.

Men’s tennis place tied men’s soccer with two percent of the vote :lol: , which is a three percentage point drop from the high of five percent men’s tennis registered in 1985 though it is double the one percent of the vote men’s tennis recorded last year. Men’s tennis place ahead of boxing, women’s tennis, bowling and several women’s college and professional sports. :spit:

RickDaStick
01-09-2007, 10:14 PM
Tennis will never be popular in the US, no matter how much they try to market it or promote it. There are so many other sports that its popularity will never go away like basketball,baseball, football and college football and basketball. Everyone grows up playing these sports so it makes sense that those are the ones they like watching. Theres only a few people that i know who even know how the scoring system goes in tennis. With so many other sports always on TV, tennis will never get the attention it deserves in the states.

Andre'sNo1Fan
01-09-2007, 10:28 PM
Tennis will never be popular in the US, no matter how much they try to market it or promote it. There are so many other sports that its popularity will never go away like basketball,baseball, football and college football and basketball. Everyone grows up playing these sports so it makes sense that those are the ones they like watching. Theres only a few people that i know who even know how the scoring system goes in tennis. With so many other sports always on TV, tennis will never get the attention it deserves in the states.

I don't know about deserves. I mean I really like tennis but I can understand why people don't and I certainly find that team sports create far more excitement than individual sports. So essentially I can understand why tennis is not a big sport in many countries, the sport doesn't create as much excitement as others.

case
01-10-2007, 02:52 AM
:lol: I'm drawn to personalities and style of play, not flags when it comes to tennis. And no US players are on my short list of faves. :shrug: Maybe I'll get sent to Gitmo for not being patriotic enough.... :devil:

:haha: that thought crossed my mind too.
america despite all the talk of the individual REALLY wants you to be a following robot-in the words of our fearful leader-"If you arent with us yur agin us"- and punishes those who differ

But I still prefer the grace of a gasquet or the fun of baghdatis,
over the bruteness of roddick-anyday

LoveFifteen
01-10-2007, 02:57 AM
Americans are the only ones that support tennis players from their own countries a lot. The people in Cyprus were just as crazy about tennis when there was no Marcos Baghdatis. :tape:

My faves are Hingis, Federer, Gasquet, Nalbandian, and Golovin. Hardly need Americans to keep me entertained, though I did love Davenport and Serena and Agassi.

Jimnik
01-10-2007, 03:19 AM
A new Harris Poll released today reveals men’s professional tennis trails eight other men’s sports: the NFL, major league baseball, college football, auto racing, the NBA, college basketball, golf and hockey as the favorite sport among American adults who follow more than one sport.
Of those 8 sports, which did you expect men's tennis to beat?
I don't think there's any surprise here.

In the UK, men's tennis probably comes 8th or 9th too.

Raquel Sun
01-10-2007, 03:19 AM
All people will have a bias to those from their own country. As for the comment that white americans only have something in common with whites from other countries this is simply not true. There are commonalities that all persons born and raised in America share. Ask any military person who engages with other races and they find out there are a lot of similarities. Or work together. Or those that play sports together. As long as they are open to it and a lot of white americans are open-minded people. Why is it that the NBA with a majority of black players have a lot of white fans? Fans who pay a lot of money to see them year after year. Fans that have their posters on the wall as children. The same for football. Baseball has a lot of hispanic players and a lot of white fans. The bottom line is that is an overgeneralization that has been repeated often on this board.

Ask Jim Courier, sometimes Americans are harder on their own than on the foreign players. I've been to tennis matches where they root more for the non-American. The J-block was a surprise and unusual. However, fans from Chile at the Miami tournament have been much, much louder/obnoxious. I have witnessed this first hand.
I used to play tennis and I have watched for years but I admit as I see all the Anti-American comments on these boards it makes me less inclined to root for or follow any foreign player particularly when I read the comments in the foreign press. People seem to forget with the internet what you say at home gets broadcast around the world. Not all Americans are foreign language ignorant as you believe nor are they all ignorant of the world beyond their borders. Most of my favorites used to be non-Americans who are now retired but not any more.

By the way, James Blake is not a phony. He is an honorable man who has accomplished a lot. It is not his fault the media keeps repeating his story ad nauseum. I am sure he is tired of hearing about it too.

So, I think your question is more appropriately directed to the casual fan (who would not be on this board), if you are a casual fan (that's who the media is trying to attract) I just think it is normal you would gravitate towards the person who seems familiar. This would be true of any casual fan in any country. That is why the media harps on the American players during American broadcast.

Jimnik
01-10-2007, 03:21 AM
As far as the thread title is concerned, America is just the same as every other country, in this respect.

sykotique
01-10-2007, 03:37 AM
The anwer to the thread question is obvious, you generally have more interest in your countrymen and that is the same in every country.

Is the tennis interest in USA lower now than in the 1990's? If so, wasn't there a similar situation between 1985 and 1990? The Americans weren't exactly dominating then. (McEnroe had a USO final in 85 and next Slam final with an American was Chang in RG 89).

Remember when Sports Illustrated ran that article about Lendl? The Champion No One Cares About? It was for exactly that era.

Except that the media seems to care even less about Federer than they do about it Lendl. But to be fair, tennis is such an international sport, in the sense that it is hardly the most popular sport anywhere, but generally it is a top 10 sport everywhere.


I mean, the Brits and the Aussies love their tennis, but above all else it's the Ashes (cricket) and soccer for Britain, Aussie rules football for Australia. Then of course, they always want to kick each other's ass in rugby if they can get the chance.


In Europe, the premier sports are either soccer or basketball. You'd also be surprised to know how high cycling is up there and of course, athletics.


But generally, Americans are the most jingoistic in their sports following, not only in tennis. It's just a result of the fact that Americans have a different sense of national pride which is very independent, even if almost insular. For a basketball player born in America, if you asked them if they would rather win the FIBA World Championships/Olympics or the NBA Finals, they'll pick the NBA 9 and a half times out of 10, because they believe that triumphing on that stage is much more prestigious than any throw-together world championship.


On the other hand, a lot of countries in the world find national pride in the ability of their athletes to defeat players or teams from other nations, because it gives a sense of superiority and/or belonging to the world. It's just a difficult culture.

spottygoose
01-10-2007, 10:29 AM
So ridiculous.

Truth is that for so long, the US players dominated the slams fo so long that it's simply something the American public is use to seeing.

I don't understand why it's used in a negative context, please. If England or France has as many grand slam champions in the past decade, they'd be just as behind them if not more.

They simply haven't had the numbers in the past.



So not true! The US is brainwashed via the large TV networks. Most other nationalties appreciate a good game or performance, whether that be tennis, swimming, athletics. Australian crowds at the Aussie open are renowned for cheering for the under dog or their favourites whether they be Australian or not (in fact Lletyon hewitt and Mark Philipoussis are not even taht popular). The Aussies loved Andre! The US only see those games that feature their own players, they are so brainwashed with patriotism that they can't even appreciate a great sportsman or great competition unless it features one of their own. It is so silly and why they have World Series that only involve their own country LOL, while the rest of the world play each other in such competitions. For a democracy the US is seriously the closest thing you will find to a communist country. Anyone that has lived abroad knows that you can at least follow the exploits of the worlds top sportsman except of course in the US where they completely ceast to exist. Surely, it is an insult to the intelligence of the average american to have your TV and sports viewing censored as such and to miss out on seeing the best in every sport on every occasion.

cobalt60
01-10-2007, 10:49 AM
All people will have a bias to those from their own country. As for the comment that white americans only have something in common with whites from other countries this is simply not true. There are commonalities that all persons born and raised in America share. Ask any military person who engages with other races and they find out there are a lot of similarities. Or work together. Or those that play sports together. As long as they are open to it and a lot of white americans are open-minded people. Why is it that the NBA with a majority of black players have a lot of white fans? Fans who pay a lot of money to see them year after year. Fans that have their posters on the wall as children. The same for football. Baseball has a lot of hispanic players and a lot of white fans. The bottom line is that is an overgeneralization that has been repeated often on this board.

Ask Jim Courier, sometimes Americans are harder on their own than on the foreign players. I've been to tennis matches where they root more for the non-American. The J-block was a surprise and unusual. However, fans from Chile at the Miami tournament have been much, much louder/obnoxious. I have witnessed this first hand.
I used to play tennis and I have watched for years but I admit as I see all the Anti-American comments on these boards it makes me less inclined to root for or follow any foreign player particularly when I read the comments in the foreign press. People seem to forget with the internet what you say at home gets broadcast around the world. Not all Americans are foreign language ignorant as you believe nor are they all ignorant of the world beyond their borders. Most of my favorites used to be non-Americans who are now retired but not any more.

By the way, James Blake is not a phony. He is an honorable man who has accomplished a lot. It is not his fault the media keeps repeating his story ad nauseum. I am sure he is tired of hearing about it too.

So, I think your question is more appropriately directed to the casual fan (who would not be on this board), if you are a casual fan (that's who the media is trying to attract) I just think it is normal you would gravitate towards the person who seems familiar. This would be true of any casual fan in any country. That is why the media harps on the American players during American broadcast.


Nice post :yeah:

PamV
01-10-2007, 11:20 AM
Or why does that perception persist?

Does Australia's interest in tennis wane when no Australians are at the top of the game? France? England? Germany?

Or is this just an American phenomenon?

I get irritated by that constant coment also.

I think this is only a perception of advertisers and commentators. The fans can get just as excited or more so over a foreign player. Young American kids can be inspired by great foreign players. I think that level of interest can be affected by the way the commentators and networks treat the matches and if they act disappointed or uninterested it filters through to the viewers. For example the way PMac babbles on during points about unrelated things.

PamV
01-10-2007, 11:43 AM
So ridiculous.

You ever seen fans from most other countries that even travel abroad like say for the Chileans or Marcos and the way they act? You think in Cyprus that anyone is as popular in tennis or that they don't care if he wins?

Truth is that for so long, the US players dominated the slams fo so long that it's simply something the American public is use to seeing.

I don't understand why it's used in a negative context, please. If England or France has as many grand slam champions in the past decade, they'd be just as behind them if not more.




The reason this is negative is because the implication is that there is virtually no interest unless there is an American playing. It's really insulting to be judged that way, and it's totally wrong. It makes Americans sound shallow and simple minded if they only care about tennis if an American is playing.

We know that in small countries more interest is stirred up when they have a good contender in the mix.....but that doesn't mean those countries have zero interest otherwise. Great players and certain personalities and certain match ups are just interesting and compelling regardelss of country.

PamV
01-10-2007, 11:54 AM
So not true! The US is brainwashed via the large TV networks. Most other nationalties appreciate a good game or performance, whether that be tennis, swimming, athletics. Australian crowds at the Aussie open are renowned for cheering for the under dog or their favourites whether they be Australian or not (in fact Lletyon hewitt and Mark Philipoussis are not even taht popular). The Aussies loved Andre! The US only see those games that feature their own players, they are so brainwashed with patriotism that they can't even appreciate a great sportsman or great competition unless it features one of their own. It is so silly and why they have World Series that only involve their own country LOL, while the rest of the world play each other in such competitions. For a democracy the US is seriously the closest thing you will find to a communist country. Anyone that has lived abroad knows that you can at least follow the exploits of the worlds top sportsman except of course in the US where they completely ceast to exist. Surely, it is an insult to the intelligence of the average american to have your TV and sports viewing censored as such and to miss out on seeing the best in every sport on every occasion.

Right. Great players and great personalities transcend nationality. Wasn't Borg a superstar world wide? McEnroe was disliked and Borg was an idol. What does that tell them?

You make a very good point about American networks. When they focus mainly on showing the American players they will sometimes be showing a low level less interesting match just because they think any American will be favored over a foreign player. That just leads to more boring matches being feature and that is what takes away from ratings. For example instead of showing a match like Baghadatis v. Djokovic they would show us any WTA match with an American like Davenport v. Pin for example.

I am forced to follow tennis via computer in order to know what's going on and see a broad variety of matches. Maybe they should take a look at how many Americans are paying for Mediazone Online access to view matches.

PamV
01-10-2007, 12:02 PM
But generally, Americans are the most jingoistic in their sports following, not only in tennis. It's just a result of the fact that Americans have a different sense of national pride which is very independent, even if almost insular. For a basketball player born in America, if you asked them if they would rather win the FIBA World Championships/Olympics or the NBA Finals, they'll pick the NBA 9 and a half times out of 10, because they believe that triumphing on that stage is much more prestigious than any throw-together world championship.


I don't know what you are basing this on. I am an American and I don't know any other American tennis fans who strictly prefer American players. All the American tennis fans I know are crazy about Federer OR Nadal.

I've always based my favorites on just personal prefrence completely ignoring what country the player is from.

PamV
01-10-2007, 12:09 PM
So, I think your question is more appropriately directed to the casual fan (who would not be on this board), if you are a casual fan (that's who the media is trying to attract) I just think it is normal you would gravitate towards the person who seems familiar. This would be true of any casual fan in any country. That is why the media harps on the American players during American broadcast.

That's a good point. The assumption posed is irritating to those who are not simply casual fans....and that's what makes this thread turn into an argument. It becomes like comparing apples and organges. Some here want to liken tennis to rooting for a hometown soceer/football team. But it's just not like that to the hardened tennis fan.

By trying to attract the casual fan the networkds end up "dumbing down" the coverage and in effect it becomes more bland to watch and they lose more of the true tennis fans. I find it more interesting to pick up live coverage from Mediazone where I can chose which of many matches offered at the same time. The commentary is better.

Andre'sNo1Fan
01-10-2007, 12:11 PM
You make a very good point about American networks. When they focus mainly on showing the American players they will sometimes be showing a low level less interesting match just because they think any American will be favored over a foreign player. That just leads to more boring matches being feature and that is what takes away from ratings. For example instead of showing a match like Baghadatis v. Djokovic they would show us any WTA match with an American like Davenport v. Pin for example.

That's not solely a US problem though, the same thing happens in the UK. No matter what matches are being played they will always put on Henman, Murray or Rusedski. Infact they even do the same thing on British Eurosport :rolleyes: But they seem to think that the home nationality will have more viewers, and I suppose they've got a point.

prock
01-10-2007, 12:16 PM
I don't know what you are basing this on. I am an American and I don't know any other American tennis fans who strictly prefer American players. All the American tennis fans I know are crazy about Federer OR Nadal.

I've always based my favorites on just personal prefrence completely ignoring what country the player is from.

I think quite a lot of this 'sports jingoism' depends on the kind of tradition a given sport has in the US. Tennis, for instance, has always been perceived as an international discipline, in spite of America having produced a lot of the game's greats. Sports such as hockey, basketball, or baseball (not to mention the NFL) have a more national outlook to them. Also, there is the case of relatively unpopular spectator sports, such as cycling, which only gather attention when an American is a champ (but then, this phenomenon isn't really limited to the US).

That the crowd at Flushig Meadows is partisan? Sure, but so's the one at RG. Just because they're just that - *crowds*, pretty random gatherings of people.
OTOH, have to give justice to the Melbourne crowd that it's got a rather large % of tennis savvies :yeah: And that's also something I always look forward to when I tune in to the AO.

PamV
01-10-2007, 12:25 PM
From what I saw and heard at the US Open, Rafa is becoming extremely popular despite the fact that he's not an American. Now its up to TV to make sure that he's marketed properly - especially with his rivalry with Fed. And the USTA has to do their part too - I heard a number of people comment that they were surprised the USTA in promoting the US Open didn't use Rafa more - and said (rolling their eyes) probably because he isn't an American. I guess these people should have their citizenships taken away from them. ;) Not patriotic enough. :lol: And that includes me.

I think they should put out different ads with Federer, Nadal, Roddick, Blake, and Safin. The ads should each just feature one or two players at a time....not all together. Those guys would have the sex appeal to attract casual viewers if the commercials were done right. The type of commerical that they put out that advertises the USOpen Series last year where each one says one word.....are really boring. They show lots of players who have zero sex appeal and that's doesn't bring the casual fan.

PamV
01-10-2007, 12:30 PM
I think quite a lot of this 'sports jingoism' depends on the kind of tradition a given sport has in the US. Tennis, for instance, has always been perceived as an international discipline, in spite of America having produced a lot of the game's greats. Sports such as hockey, basketball, or baseball (not to mention the NFL) have a more national outlook to them. Also, there is the case of relatively unpopular spectator sports, such as cycling, which only gather attention when an American is a champ (but then, this phenomenon isn't really limited to the US).



ITA that tennis has always been perceived as international and mostly one that focuses on the individual. If tennis were always played as it is in Davis Cup then that would make it more like other team sports.

Could it be that the only ones who really think it matters that we have an American tennis player at the top are the American advertisers? Why don't they turn to using foreign players for their products?

prock
01-10-2007, 12:47 PM
ITA that tennis has always been perceived as international and mostly one that focuses on the individual. If tennis were always played as it is in Davis Cup then that would make it more like other team sports.
I'd disagree in the respect that a sport's being individual makes it somehow less prone to be popular in the US. Pro boxing, for instance, is big, with most of the federations based in America. Figure skating is relatively big as well, AFAIK. OTOH, you have team sports like volleyball, in which the US has enjoyed enormous international success in the past, which are relatively marginal medially.
Could it be that the only ones who really think it matters that we have an American tennis player at the top are the American advertisers? Why don't they turn to using foreign players for their products?
Well, they *do* use Maria Sharapova, don't they? :aplot:

sykotique
01-10-2007, 01:01 PM
I don't know what you are basing this on. I am an American and I don't know any other American tennis fans who strictly prefer American players. All the American tennis fans I know are crazy about Federer OR Nadal.

I've always based my favorites on just personal prefrence completely ignoring what country the player is from.

I'm not basing my findings on the fans themselves, but rather on the media who purports to represent the fans. The point I'm making is that in a marginal sport like tennis is in the USA, although it is international, it is easier to turn people onto the idea of tennis by appealing to national pride.


For example, American football, basketball and baseball are established sports in America. Cricket and soccer dominate England. Let's take a smaller country that has much less success in sports, like Jamaica, but who still produce world class athletes like Asafa Powell, they are crazy about athletics, soccer and cricket. But in all of these sports, because they are premier sports in their respective countries, they don't need necessarily to appeal to national pride.


But because tennis is more international than national and because Americans are so used to domination, it's hard to trap fans without appealing to that national pride. How many people actually cared about the Tour de France before Lance Armstrong began to dominate it? How many people care about it now that he's left?


I'm not saying it's wrong, but you have to accept that Americans, even if only slightly, are just a little bit more interested in their own sporting endeavours than those of other nations.

cristal
01-10-2007, 04:56 PM
I saw some matches from US Open on TV. The american public behaves very uncivilly and bad against players of another country ( whistling, shouting, laughing ).

LoveFifteen
01-10-2007, 06:49 PM
So not true! The US is brainwashed via the large TV networks. Most other nationalties appreciate a good game or performance, whether that be tennis, swimming, athletics. Australian crowds at the Aussie open are renowned for cheering for the under dog or their favourites whether they be Australian or not (in fact Lletyon hewitt and Mark Philipoussis are not even taht popular). The Aussies loved Andre! The US only see those games that feature their own players, they are so brainwashed with patriotism that they can't even appreciate a great sportsman or great competition unless it features one of their own. It is so silly and why they have World Series that only involve their own country LOL, while the rest of the world play each other in such competitions. For a democracy the US is seriously the closest thing you will find to a communist country. Anyone that has lived abroad knows that you can at least follow the exploits of the worlds top sportsman except of course in the US where they completely ceast to exist. Surely, it is an insult to the intelligence of the average american to have your TV and sports viewing censored as such and to miss out on seeing the best in every sport on every occasion.

Good God, what an ignorant, pathetic post! :rolleyes:

PamV
01-10-2007, 10:15 PM
I'm not basing my findings on the fans themselves, but rather on the media who purports to represent the fans. The point I'm making is that in a marginal sport like tennis is in the USA, although it is international, it is easier to turn people onto the idea of tennis by appealing to national pride.


For example, American football, basketball and baseball are established sports in America. Cricket and soccer dominate England. Let's take a smaller country that has much less success in sports, like Jamaica, but who still produce world class athletes like Asafa Powell, they are crazy about athletics, soccer and cricket. But in all of these sports, because they are premier sports in their respective countries, they don't need necessarily to appeal to national pride.


But because tennis is more international than national and because Americans are so used to domination, it's hard to trap fans without appealing to that national pride. How many people actually cared about the Tour de France before Lance Armstrong began to dominate it? How many people care about it now that he's left?


I'm not saying it's wrong, but you have to accept that Americans, even if only slightly, are just a little bit more interested in their own sporting endeavours than those of other nations.

I think you misinterpret what I was saying a bit. I realize that American National sports like Football and Baseball and Basketball are way more popular than Tennis. That goes without saying. It's just always been that way because tennis has been more of an elite sport that is usually more known to richer people not the masses. Favoring football/basketball/baseball over tennis has nothing to do with not liking foreign pro players. Americans are just far more likely to have had experience in these national sports growing up.

My point was that for those Americans who do like tennis and follow the sport they will like any player based on their own preferences such as playing style and they don't feel disinterest for foreign players solely because they aren't American. Commentators don't know what the average tennis fan likes and they might not care. Maybe the whole issue is over trying to pump tennis up to be as popular as Football.....but I don't think that will happen. It was never as popular as football even when Sampras was #1.

PamV
01-10-2007, 10:28 PM
I'd disagree in the respect that a sport's being individual makes it somehow less prone to be popular in the US. Pro boxing, for instance, is big, with most of the federations based in America. Figure skating is relatively big as well, AFAIK. OTOH, you have team sports like volleyball, in which the US has enjoyed enormous international success in the past, which are relatively marginal medially.

Well, they *do* use Maria Sharapova, don't they? :aplot:

You misunderstood me. What I meant was tennis is more of an individual sport so therefore we fans usually focus on the individual player and tend to pick individual favorite players to root for. IF tennis were only played as country v country with teams the way DAVIS CUP is then we might root solely for our country's team. As it is we Americans don't root necessarily for an American individual player over a foreign player.

I don't say tennis is any less popular because it is an individual sport. It is in fact less popular than Football/Basketball/Baseball and it was less popular than those spotrs even when Sampras was #1. I can't say just why tennis is less popular in the United States but perhaps it just didn't get as much exposure 100 years ago as the other sports because it started out as more of a rich man's sport. For what ever reason long ago Football/Basketball/Baseball caught on and were very big in colleges. Tennis never caught on as much. Today I even wonder if tennis is just harder to understand to those who never learned the sport. People who were never trained in the rules of Football/Baseball/Basketball can still understand at a glance what is going on in that there are two hoops or two goal posts and to score one has to get the ball to one of those. etc. With tennis the points and game rules are not so obvious.

To me American Football and Basketball look monotonous --- filled with repetative grunt work and little artistry. Yet those players get paid much much more than any #1 player in tennis would get.

sykotique
01-10-2007, 10:44 PM
It may be insulting to be judged that way, but plenty of casual fans in every country do it, including here in the U.S. :shrug: I don't think it's right to say that we're the only country that does it, but I also don't think it's right to deny that it does happen to a large extent here, as it does most everywhere.

On a different note, as others have pointed out and I myself pointed out earlier in this thread:

While it is true that plenty of Americans on MTF don't call themselves fans of any of the current American players (I myself am one of those people!), a sampling of American fans on MTF is not going to give you an accurate picture of the "average"/"casual" U.S. fan. To point to fans that regularly visit a tennis message board and to extrapolate assumptions about casual fans from such a small/skewed sample is going to be problematic at best.

I think you've explained better than I have.

PamV
01-11-2007, 01:29 AM
It may be insulting to be judged that way, but plenty of casual fans in every country do it, including here in the U.S. :shrug: I don't think it's right to say that we're the only country that does it, but I also don't think it's right to deny that it does happen to a large extent here, as it does most everywhere.

On a different note, as others have pointed out and I myself pointed out earlier in this thread:

While it is true that plenty of Americans on MTF don't call themselves fans of any of the current American players (I myself am one of those people!), a sampling of American fans on MTF is not going to give you an accurate picture of the "average"/"casual" U.S. fan. To point to fans that regularly visit a tennis message board and to extrapolate assumptions about casual fans from such a small/skewed sample is going to be problematic at best.

I don't know what message boards you go to...but I haven't seen any, where Americans only care about American players. However, I mainly judge my statement on tennis fans I know in real life.

A real tennis fan is someone who follows the goings on of all the tournaments and knows who the top 50 or top 100 players are. They understand the intricacies of the game and appreciate the differences between average and great players. Americans who are real tennis fans can and will get excited over players regardless of where they are from.

Why is it that Americans can go crazy for foreign figure skaters who are excellent? Isn't it about the spectacle of what they do and not where they are from?

PamV
01-11-2007, 01:39 AM
Well, they *do* use Maria Sharapova, don't they? :aplot:

Is there a big difference between how men view her and how women view her? To me Sharapova is ordinary looking ... not as atractive as the average actress. She doesn't look hot in her commercials and she looks like a lumbering ox when she's playing a match. Kournikova was much more sultry and attracted more male non-tennis fans that Sharapova ever would.

As a woman, I think the ratings would improve with some nice comical commercials from Federer / Safin or Federer / Roddick. The commericals that Roddick does by himself are good but they need to start using the other male players too.

El Legenda
01-11-2007, 01:45 AM
because they love the corny USA USA USA chant..how will they do that if no american is playing :)

TennisAgenda
01-11-2007, 06:23 AM
Americans are spolied cry babies. They bitch and whine because their players aren't the best anymore. Its a new era out with the old like Agassi and in with the new like the European players. The USA can't handle NOT being the best all the time in tennis. Its so refreshing to see other players win. Roddick is a jerk off and blake is a dork.

oz_boz
01-11-2007, 09:21 AM
As stated earlier in this thread, USA isn't different from any other country. If their players are in the top, the interest grows, if not, less people care.

In Sweden, many watched during the Borg era and it continued until Edberg's decline. After that interest has been really low. Hand ball was immensely popular until recently but now we are out of the WC and noone cares. Athletics was small until Klüft et al came around and now it's huge. Only interest football and ice hockey seem to be pretty constant, the two most popular sports and team sports of course.

I guess tennis interest will always be maintained too some - still pretty low - degree regardless of national success in US, France, Australia and UK since they hold GS every year. But of course the sport deserves a larger number of watchers. :D

prock
01-11-2007, 01:23 PM
You misunderstood me.
I think I did misunderstand.
What I meant was tennis is more of an individual sport so therefore we fans usually focus on the individual player and tend to pick individual favorite players to root for. IF tennis were only played as country v country with teams the way DAVIS CUP is then we might root solely for our country's team. As it is we Americans don't root necessarily for an American individual player over a foreign player.
However, there have been events that somehow contradict Your statement: Borg's complaints about the partisanship of the USO crowd during his finals vs Mac and Jimbo, the J-Block, and even Federer's remarks about taking hard the spectators' attitude during his final vs Agassi.
I don't say tennis is any less popular because it is an individual sport. It is in fact less popular than Football/Basketball/Baseball and it was less popular than those spotrs even when Sampras was #1. I can't say just why tennis is less popular in the United States but perhaps it just didn't get as much exposure 100 years ago as the other sports because it started out as more of a rich man's sport. For what ever reason long ago Football/Basketball/Baseball caught on and were very big in colleges. Tennis never caught on as much.
Good points about tradition. I guess the only country where tennis is still regarded as a national sport is Australia...
Today I even wonder if tennis is just harder to understand to those who never learned the sport. People who were never trained in the rules of Football/Baseball/Basketball can still understand at a glance what is going on in that there are two hoops or two goal posts and to score one has to get the ball to one of those. etc. With tennis the points and game rules are not so obvious.
Another good point, though I beg to differ here, slightly. Cricket, for instance, with it's complicated rules, is a national sport in quite a few countries worldwide.
To me American Football and Basketball look monotonous --- filled with repetative grunt work and little artistry. Yet those players get paid much much more than any #1 player in tennis would get.
Pretty much the same applies to other popular sports - both team and individual - like football/soccer, boxing.
Is there a big difference between how men view her and how women view her? To me Sharapova is ordinary looking ... not as atractive as the average actress. She doesn't look hot in her commercials and she looks like a lumbering ox when she's playing a match. Kournikova was much more sultry and attracted more male non-tennis fans that Sharapova ever would.
As a woman, I think the ratings would improve with some nice comical commercials from Federer / Safin or Federer / Roddick. The commericals that Roddick does by himself are good but they need to start using the other male players too.
I wan't really hitting on Sharapova. I don't care much about her either, FWIW. My point was that her being *based* in the US, as well as being an outstanding sportsperson has led to her becoming a celebrity in the US. Pretty comparably to Nadia Comaneci's case, in fact. OTOH, I wonder what would the American public's reception of Tommy Haas be, were he to dominate men's tennis (after all, he's Floridian as well :aplot: ).

A real tennis fan is someone who follows the goings on of all the tournaments and knows who the top 50 or top 100 players are. They understand the intricacies of the game and appreciate the differences between average and great players. Americans who are real tennis fans can and will get excited over players regardless of where they are from.
This should sum up this discussion.

Geniey2g
01-11-2007, 05:02 PM
Wimbledon has often shown great interest in non-British players. Possibly owing to days of empire the British have always tended to be more aware of the rest of the world than many countries.
Indeed. Some Americans are so far up their own arse, it's a wonder they realise that other countries even exist.

Seriously, I think it all starts with the schooling- I was once asked if we (the English) use US dollars as our currency :rolleyes:

ljubicic_
01-11-2007, 05:20 PM
What a stupid question! You don't think that a American will cheer for a Croat? No! They are cheering for their own players and that's normal, everybody is doing that. Take a look at the Frenchies, Belgians, especcialy Dutchies and Germans the most off them will never cheer for a player of a other nationality!!

RickDaStick
01-11-2007, 06:00 PM
because they love the corny USA USA USA chant..how will they do that if no american is playing :)

I have to agree here. the USA USA USA chant might be the corniest thing in all of sports.

sierra91
01-11-2007, 06:32 PM
I haven't gone back and read this entire thread, but has anyone mentioned that, here in the U.S., we are stuck with commentators who are so pro-American it's sickening. Also, when ESPN2 and the other networks (except the Tennis Channel, which is still not widely available) cover grand slams and other tournaments, they show only American players with the exception of Sharapova, who gets more airtime than anyone else. They will show taped matches with an American player, even bad ones, over showing a live match between two non-Americans. A lot of Americans simply don't have the opportunity to see other players and, when they do, they have to listen to John McEnroe, PMac, Carillo, Enberg, Drysdale, et al. promoting the American players and whining about the sorry state of American tennis, yada, yada, yada. Those of you who don't live here and get the US ESPN (which is different than ESPN in other countries), come on over and watch their coverage of the Australian Open. You'll end up sticking needles in your eyes ... more pleasant than watching their pro-American, anti-everyone non-American bullshit coverage.

LoveFifteen
01-11-2007, 07:54 PM
This thread is bullshit. I lived in Argentina, and guess what?! They show the Argentine players matches at every possible chance, too. If Gasquet is playing on one court and Davydenko is playing on another, what match will TV stations in France show? :rolleyes:

This thread is just another excuse for pathetic whiners to bash the US and Americans. Cypriots go crazy for Baghdatis, and it's "so great"! Some Americans like Roddick and it's "jingoistic nationalism". :rolleyes:

There are plenty of non-American players that are popular at US tournaments.