Tennis needs a new star: Young, anyone? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Tennis needs a new star: Young, anyone?

nobama
09-06-2006, 12:47 PM
Who is this Eric Kay and how can he be paid to write such :bs:

http://www.sportsline.com/spin/story/9640635
Kay's Korner: Tennis needs a new star: Young, anyone?
By Eric Kay
SPiN Columnist

It's match point against tennis, and its return just hit the top of the net. Will it fall on its side or the opponent's?

That's the question as the last American tennis icon -- rather, the last tennis icon in the world -- Andre Agassi bids adieu following his U.S. Open defeat.

In the days of Agassi -- and Sampras, Chang and Courier -- a decade ago, tennis witnessed its last great boom of prosperity. It wasn't late 1970s-esque, when it was the eighth most-played sport, but people were talking tennis. And that was because it was star driven.

Now Agassi is the last of the stars to fade. And all the suitors to carry the torch have crippling flaws that will prevent them from ever leading a tennis renaissance.

Roger Federer is an excellent player. He's steady, like a Swiss Army watch. But he's not sexy. Anointing Federer Grand Poobah of tennis is like painting a 1993 Ford Taurus bright orange and calling it the General Lee. The only ones you fool are the fools.

Sure, for tennis purists, Federer is golden. He plays the gentleman's game with all the chivalry required by society's upper crust. He says the right things, dresses the right way and doesn't have a plethora of paparazzi following his every move. But when has a sport ever found enduring success by catering to aristocratic desires?

Now, Rafael Nadal is sexy. But Nadal's a soccer player stuck running baselines, not goal lines. Every French Open, Patrick McEnroe, Billy Jean King and Brad Gilbert feel the need to inform us of Nadal's first passion. Tennis is a paycheck to the Spaniard, not so much a Tiger-esque mission in life.

Let's say for a second it is his passion. No next-great-one will come from Spain.

Spain's a great place, it used to be the center of the world 500 years ago. But now it's known more for flaccid futbol and flan than it is for tennis. Plus, tennis' next-great-one can't be born on a clay court. We've tried that with Alberto Costa, Carlos Moya and Nadal. We hear the same thing over and over: They can't win on surfaces other than clay. It's like trying to make an argument for the NFL's Colts or Rams. It's tough to put the kitty on a team that plays a majority of its games inside on turf when you know the biggest games -- playoff football -- will likely be played outdoors and on grass.

The only way tennis can find its way back to America's living rooms is with a bona fide star. And he needs to be from the U.S. An English star would work temporarily, particularly if he won Wimbledon. It would be like what 2004 was for Red Sox nation; no Brit has dusted the competition on grass since Fred Perry in 1936. If Andy Murray could somehow break the curse of Freddy, tennis would get a nice jolt. But the novelty would wear. Sure, we'd get the subsequent Ace It Like Andy flick and see a spike in Newcastle sales, but tennis has survived this long without a British star. What's the thinking it could ride one's coattails into the future?

A French star would offer a little more staying power. Most of the world -- and the American conservative radio dial -- would love nothing more than having a Frenchman atop the tennis world. If you can't love the man atop the rankings, hate him. Because France is to heightened drama what Russia was in the late 1980s, an American-French final would galvanize the average fan. But it is France we're talking about. They're not pointing nukes at us like Russia was during the Ivan Drago era. They're better utilized as a campy NASCAR-movie villain, not sports rejuvenators. Plus, nobody really hates Tony Parker or Boris Diaw in the NBA. Won't cut it.

In order for tennis to succeed -- and by succeed, we mean thrive in America -- it has to find the proper young star. And there's no organization better at finding young -- but more important, marketable -- talent than Nike.

Nike has made a fortune investing in young African-Americans. It poured nearly $100 million into LeBron James before he could vote. It dumped mega-millions on Tiger Woods before he could drink. Together, with a young Michael Jordan, it created the sporting apparel industry.

There aren't many Nike commercials -- or commercials altogether -- with Dirk Nowitki, Steve Nash, Curt Schilling, Davis Love III, Zach Thomas or Roger Federer. That's not saying white doesn't sell or isn't capable of being the next-great-one. Peyton Manning is plastered all over the television spectrum, and commercials in general are white-centered.

But in terms of creating sports icons who can be the face of a game, no organization seems better at harvesting stars than Nike. And Nike has found that tossing money at young African-American talents is profitable. Whether Nike created that atmosphere or is simply piggy-backing changing social tides is up for debate. What isn't is that tennis needs a star. And following the money is one way to search for the next one.

So if there is hope for tennis, it might be in Donald Young. The 17-year-old two-time defending U.S. National Junior Champion recently signed a clothing deal with Nike. He's the youngest-ever winner of a boys' Grand Slam junior singles title -- the 2005 Australian Open -- and he participated in the U.S. Open. And he's African-American.

There's something electric about someone who's superficially different and superbly talented playing, and winning, in a sport heavy on tradition. Whether it's because of buried racist tendencies, a dormant desire for social activism or just the itch to see change -- any sort of change -- the sports community digs this sort of environment.

There's many ways tennis can come back to the forefront -- umpire dunk tank, flaming service lines, topless ball girls -- but one serious, albeit little-talked-about solution is having an outsider rock the tennis world. It was Agassi, after all, who made a fortune playing the part of a "rebel." So if Nike's track record is anything to follow, Donald Young just might be the ace tennis needs to stay at the table.

kabuki
09-06-2006, 12:51 PM
Wow. That was a hot mess. I'm embarrassed for him.

scoobs
09-06-2006, 12:52 PM
It's hard to write such a sustained load of bullshit, moving effortlessly from bullshit paragraph to bullshit paragraph.

The writer manages it brilliantly.

cmurray
09-06-2006, 12:57 PM
WTF? Donald Young?

Okay, I get it. Rafa is sexy but he's Spanish, so he can't be the next "it" boy. Roger ISN'T sexy but he plays like a dream. But pardon me. DONALD YOUNG? Don't you have to actually be able to PLAY tennis to be the next "it" boy?


Cheryl

Adler
09-06-2006, 12:58 PM
I always thought tennis already has a lot of young stars. Of course I won't convince anybopdy who thinks that young star must be about 16-17

Pea
09-06-2006, 12:58 PM
Did he get paid to write this piece of rotting flesh?

bokehlicious
09-06-2006, 01:01 PM
What a load of crap

Sunset of Age
09-06-2006, 01:08 PM
Been a long time since I read such ultimate SHITE. :mad: :fiery: :smash:
(where's that Puke Smiley when you need it?)

"But when has a sport ever found enduring success by catering to aristocratic desires?"

Not in the author's world, no (he's from the US, no? :devil: - if not, feel free to bash me :angel: )
But believe me, there are still parts of this planet that do not appreciate everything becoming ruled by hypes and the money machine...
at least, I hope so :rolleyes:

Andre♥
09-06-2006, 01:12 PM
Young is PMM - Poor Man Monfils

scoobs
09-06-2006, 01:15 PM
I also find that extremely patronising to Rafa, insinuating that his first love is soccer and he only does tennis for the paycheck.

Excuse me, what?

marcRD
09-06-2006, 01:17 PM
I think Nadal fans and Federer fans might just join forces mocking journalistic ignorance this time.

its.like.that
09-06-2006, 01:17 PM
lol

American journalism is fantastic!!!

:yeah:

Sunset of Age
09-06-2006, 01:17 PM
I also find that extremely patronising to Rafa, insinuating that his first love is soccer and he only does tennis for the paycheck.

Excuse me, what?

Indeed. No less than insulting to Rafa, regarding all the energy and passion he puts into his game... :mad:

marcRD
09-06-2006, 01:18 PM
I use to say Nadal doesnt have the game to be a great champion on hardcourt, but that he doesnt have the passion? That must be a joke!

silverwhite
09-06-2006, 01:18 PM
Pure brilliance :spit:

scoobs
09-06-2006, 01:22 PM
The more I reread that the more I want to spit.

Federer can't be the man because he's not hot enough and he's swiss and therefore not marketable?

Rafa ain't it because he's spanish and anyone only does tennis for the money?

So it has to be an American and it has to be someone black because black is what sells in American at the moment?

Allow me to quote from the book of John, chapter 11, verse 35

"Jesus wept."

kabuki
09-06-2006, 01:38 PM
lol

American journalism is fantastic!!!

:yeah:

Thankfully, this article is not representative of American journalism.

nobama
09-06-2006, 01:40 PM
This article is bad on so many levels. The worst part is someone actually paid this guy to write this garbage. :lol:

Clara Bow
09-06-2006, 01:56 PM
I'n addition to all of the other crap that you just mentioned, I am sure that Andy Murray is surprised that he is from England.

cmurray
09-06-2006, 02:00 PM
I'n addition to all of the other crap that you just mentioned, I am sure that Andy Murray is surprised that he is from England.

bwahahahaha. As Tim Henman says, "he's not my countryman. He's a bloody Scot." :rolls:

tripb19
09-06-2006, 02:01 PM
That was one of the most disgraceful articles I have ever read. I would say it was the worst, but I had to put up with Germaine Greer this morning defaming Steve Irwin to get some attention her self. Stupid bitch.

scoobs
09-06-2006, 02:05 PM
I'n addition to all of the other crap that you just mentioned, I am sure that Andy Murray is surprised that he is from England.
Surprised and furious - he goes nuts when he's called English. He's British, or Scottish, he is NOT English.

zicofirol
09-06-2006, 02:13 PM
My GOD, Ive skimmed through it because I dont have time to read the whole article right now, but that is just horrible.
Has anyone emailed the writer? you can in the link to the story, I will email him because he has to be called out for such a bad story.
When youre line of reasoning is, "lets market a player because he is black" then youre already standing on shaky ground...

Clara Bow
09-06-2006, 02:14 PM
I couldn't help it- I had to write this joker an email.

I discussed mainly his snide comments about Federer (included that he was listed in People's Sexiest Man Alive issue), discussed how Nadal is known for his passion on the tennis court, pointed out that Nadal has won on non-clay surfaces and that he just wrote a stereotype without bothering to read the facts, and informed him that Murray is not from England.

I ended along the lines of "your article not only smacks of jingoism, it reeks of laziness."

Maxpowers
09-06-2006, 02:19 PM
The more I reread that the more I want to spit.

Federer can't be the man because he's not hot enough and he's swiss and therefore not marketable?

Rafa ain't it because he's spanish and anyone only does tennis for the money?

So it has to be an American and it has to be someone black because black is what sells in American at the moment?

Allow me to quote from the book of John, chapter 11, verse 35

"Jesus wept."

This guy doesn't know what he's talking about. I'm not a big Rafa fan, but he can play on other surfaces (he did get to the finals of Wimbledon) and he brings a ton of energy and excitement to the game that I'm sure would appeal to some people.

He is too obsessed with nationalisty and race, and not enough on looking at the individuals. Apparently if you aren't black you aren't marketable. One thing I found strange was this quote

Nike has made a fortune investing in young African-Americans

Maybe Nike should stop being racist and looking at only blacks in the US and should look at everyone. Are there companies that invest in young Swiss-Americans, English Americans, or German-Americans? Becker is living in the US now and seems to be pretty talented, maybe they could try marketing him, or doing a better job marketing tennis players that aren't black.

TheMightyFed
09-06-2006, 02:24 PM
I'm both French and a Federer fan, so I'm not really on the right side in his crappy vision of the world, where black athlete is the ultimate marketing weapon, and Rafa is just a soccer-player-dirtballer !!
That said, Roger might not be Becker, Borg or Agassi in the charisma department, but he's the kind of racquet genius you see once every 100 years, so please, let us appreciate that at least !

Kalliopeia
09-06-2006, 02:54 PM
I couldn't help it- I had to write this joker an email.



I wrote him too, and among other things asked if he actually watched the sport. I kind of think he must not.

Purple Rainbow
09-06-2006, 03:23 PM
That has got to be the most pathetic excuse of journalism I have ever read.

michelleg
09-06-2006, 03:25 PM
I wrote him too, and among other things asked if he actually watched the sport. I kind of think he must not.

Pff I just asked him to send me whatever it was that he was smoking. It must be some seriously good stuff to put him so out of touch with reality.

marcelwks
09-06-2006, 03:29 PM
only if Agassi will be his coach ;)

tangerine_dream
09-06-2006, 03:29 PM
I'll bet Jim wrote that article. :lol:

Lendl's Forehand
09-06-2006, 03:52 PM
Donald Young!!!??????? :haha: If that's the case tennis is doomed.

Pfloyd
09-06-2006, 04:30 PM
This guy is an idiot, not a moron, not an imbecile, but an IDIOT. Hey asshole, why dont you learn how to use Google? Fucker...

hanabishi
09-06-2006, 04:49 PM
In behalf of all American tennis fans, I want to apologize to the rest of this world for this piece of American Journalism trash.. Rest assured that not all American journalists are like this, and certainly not all American tennis fans.

savesthedizzle
09-06-2006, 05:00 PM
Reading shit like this actually almost makes me want to use my journalism degree for something, just to put this dude out of a job :angel:

mallorn
09-06-2006, 05:10 PM
I didn't even get to the part about Young, I gave up after the paragraphs about Roger and Rafa. Unbelievable.

Jim Courier
09-06-2006, 06:51 PM
He's pretty insulting with his thinly veiled "Tennis is a boring whitey sport, let's make it look more like a cool black poople sport".

jes_021
09-06-2006, 06:57 PM
That was one minute of my life wasted, which I'll never get back.

How do people come up with this stuff

Mrs. B
09-06-2006, 07:28 PM
it's Donald Young's manager who wrote this. hahaha. :devil:

Clara Bow
09-06-2006, 07:38 PM
One other thing that I just noticed about this incredibly stupid article. Kay implies that Billy Jean King is a commentator at the French Open- when it is Mary Carillo who is the commentator.

GlennMirnyi
09-06-2006, 07:50 PM
I read like 4 lines and got an incredible desire to kick the writer in the nuts. BS is a lot better than that.

chicky841
09-06-2006, 08:04 PM
Wow...words fail me.

Clara Bow
09-06-2006, 08:08 PM
Who could write a better article?

1) A monkey at a typewriter
2) A drunk high school student with access to google
3) Eric Kay

I would have to vote for number 2) the drunk high schooler first- but it would be a real battle between Eric Kay and the monkey for second place.

GlennMirnyi
09-06-2006, 08:10 PM
Who could write a better article?

1) A monkey at a typewriter
2) A drunk high school student with access to google
3) Eric Kay

I would have to vote for number 2) the drunk high schooler first- but it would be a real battle between Eric Kay and the monkey for second place.

You're plain wrong. The monkey would type nonsense, but not BS. ;)

cincy
09-06-2006, 08:25 PM
This article bordered on the illiterate. :rolleyes: It's so embarrassing. :o I'm really ashame that an American wrote it.

The man obviously knows zero about tennis. I can't even get mad about it. Really. I'm just sad. :sad: I feel like crying. I think I'll go eat a chocolate cupcake. Make myself feel better. Honestly. That man is totally . . .

Donald Young???? :confused:

Taz Warrior
09-06-2006, 08:29 PM
I can't believe that is meant to be a serious article :rolleyes:

cincy
09-06-2006, 08:36 PM
Okay, I sent an email to that idiot. Probably won't help but I've sent it anyway.

Balerion
09-06-2006, 08:44 PM
I really do feel bad for Donald Young. He's received a hell of a lot of ill will because of lazy journalism from writers who only pay attention to tennis once or twice a year, and because of overly ambitious expections from the USTA. Yeah, he's accepted a lot of wild cards, but who turns them down?

He's actually in an interesting situation. He's received so much hype that it will be very difficult to live up to expectations. He was a #1 junior, just like Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, and Marcos Baghdatis...and just like Gilles Muller and Kristian Pless. It's no guarantee.

On the other hand, the backlash against him because he's (a)received a lot of wild cards and attention without a ton of results and (b)American, has made it so that he doesn't have much to lose - obviously a lot of people here don't think he will ever amount to anything. It's a really strange dynamic with those two forces pushing against each other.

cincy
09-06-2006, 09:03 PM
and because of overly ambitious expections from the USTA

The USTA has nothing to do with him. It's his agency getting him all the wildcards that he doesn't deserve and doesn't do anything with. He actually earned his spot in the Open because he won the 18 and under thingy in Kalamazoo, again. But, all those wildcards into Nasdaq, etc. is because his agency runs those tournaments.

I actually wish him the best but I think he is being pushed far too much by his parents. He has a lot of weight on his shoulders and he will be watched even more now that Sam Querrey and Ryan Sweeting are making noise lately, especially Sam.

Also, I think Nike might be getting a bit tired of him and his lack of winning even at the lowest Tour level.

Balerion
09-06-2006, 09:11 PM
The USTA has nothing to do with him. It's his agency getting him all the wildcards that he doesn't deserve and doesn't do anything with. He actually earned his spot in the Open because he won the 18 and under thingy in Kalamazoo, again. But, all those wildcards into Nasdaq, etc. is because his agency runs those tournaments.

I actually wish him the best but I think he is being pushed far too much by his parents. He has a lot of weight on his shoulders and he will be watched even more now that Sam Querrey and Ryan Sweeting are making noise lately, especially Sam.

Also, I think Nike might be getting a bit tired of him and his lack of winning even at the lowest Tour level.

I know about the Kalamazoo automatic WC, but I suppose I owe the USTA an apology! I didn't realize how much power his agency had.

Having a 17 year old star in the making is great marketing and all, but Young wasn't up to the task. There's nothing wrong with making your push at age 19 though. I actually think having Querrey and Sweeting around will be helpful because Young doesn't have to carry the mantle (true or not) of THE GREAT HOPE OF AMERICAN TENNIS...he'll be able to work on his game with some other guys sharing the limelight.

jes_021
09-06-2006, 10:03 PM
Maybe Mr. 'Disney' hired this guy to write some tennis entertainment to make the sport more popular.

Mane
09-06-2006, 11:21 PM
Cilic is much better than Young but Young gets much money cause he is american!

Maxpowers
09-06-2006, 11:48 PM
Cilic is much better than Young but Young gets much money cause he is american!

Who is Cilic?

princediablo
09-06-2006, 11:56 PM
Sigh.

Mane
09-07-2006, 09:55 AM
Who is Cilic?

Roland Garros junior champion and 213rd player in the world now. He beat Seppi Pavel and Andreev in his career!

Action Jackson
09-07-2006, 09:58 AM
A journalistic troll, that takes skill.

Jade Fox
09-07-2006, 10:38 AM
This article did what I thought was once impossible: Make everyone on this board universally disagree with it! Damn.

And yeah this dude is an IDIOT.

oz_boz
09-07-2006, 11:56 AM
A condensed version of the "article":

"Nadal is a dirtballer and only in it for the money, Federer is boring. The US is the only country in the world where people care about tennis, so Tennis needs an American on the #1 spot, and he should be African American for political correctness, young and good-looking, extrovert and passionate about his game. If we can't have that, give us have an ugly, stupid Arab wife-beating brat with bad teeth."

Lendl's Forehand
09-07-2006, 04:26 PM
He's pretty insulting with his thinly veiled "Tennis is a boring whitey sport, let's make it look more like a cool black poople sport".

Bingo.