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Federer becomes American

Tennis Fool
09-14-2004, 04:11 AM
Let Federer's Americanization begin!

U.S. Open champion has become star most in demandCOMMENTARY
By Howard Fendrich
The Associated Press
Updated: 5:27 p.m. ET Sept. 13, 2004NEW YORK - Roger Federer played pingpong with Regis Philbin. He met Tony Danza, who told Federer he makes it look easy on the court; Federer informed Danza that “Who’s the Boss?” was huge in Switzerland. He was interviewed by Charlie Rose and John McEnroe. And then it was off to Los Angeles, where a Vogue photo shoot awaits.


The Americanization of Roger Federer began Monday, his first full day as the U.S. Open champion and the only man since 1988 to win three Grand Slam titles in a year.

The globalization of Federer — the person and the tennis player — was completed long ago, of course. With big forehands, tough-to-read serves, on-the-run lobs, can’t-possibly-get drop shots, improving volleys, etc., etc., etc., Federer does it all. He can outslug you from the baseline, outquick you at the net and simply outwit you.

Federer made Lleyton Hewitt look like a weekend hacker in the first and final sets of a 6-0, 7-6 (3), 6-0 victory Sunday at the U.S. Open, the first time in 120 years that the tournament’s final featured two sets at love. And, it turns out, Federer did it all with a head cold.

What does he think when he hears so many people describe his play as beautiful, a sort of artistry that’s a wonderful contrast to the hit-as-hard-as-you-can school of tennis gaining in popularity over the years?

“I don’t want to be cocky or anything, but I feel the same, in a way. I know I’m playing nice tennis,” Federer said. “It’s very simple. I know there is no extra movement in my technique that makes me look strange. Movement and technique have to fit together. I found the right balance, and that’s what gives me all this praise.”

His game is as varied and fluent as his language skills: In a span of 10 minutes Monday, he went from speaking English with a dozen print reporters to doing a standup TV interview in Swiss German to doing a radio interview over a cell phone in French.

Yet as much of a star as he is around Europe, Federer is still trying to grab a place in the public consciousness over here. On Monday, he walked into the Hard Rock Cafe in midtown Manhattan carrying a 7-pound silver trophy — and not one customer batted an eye, much less asked for an autograph or a picture with him.

“The more places I go, the more I’m a celebrity. This will only increase by me winning the U.S. Open,” Federer said. “For me now, in the States, I don’t really have a clue what’s going to happen.”

Some have suggested that he won’t match Pete Sampras’ record of 14 Grand Slam titles — Federer is 4-for-4 in major finals, a first in the Open era — because the hunger won’t last or distractions will mount.

But Federer is not the typical pro athlete. He travels with his girlfriend, his physical trainer and a pal. No coach. No agent. No PR manager. No entourage filled with hangers-on.

And he already knows that a simple chuckle is the best way to deal with the sorts of questions that will be coming: Can you complete a Grand Slam? Can you catch Pistol Pete? Are you the greatest ever?

“It’s going to take some time to let it sink in and really realize what I achieved. When people started talking about four out of four at the beginning of the year — Grand Slam titles — I was laughing inside, going, ’You guys are insane,”’ Federer said.

“Now that I’ve won three out of four, I know that I’ve done something unbelievable. Like Lleyton said yesterday, the other players know that, too, with the depth of the men’s game right now.”

The men’s and women’s games appear to be going in opposite directions. Federer’s Wimbledon-U.S. Open double ended a streak of 18 majors in which no player won back-to-back titles, the longest such drought in more than 35 years.

He might very well have put an emphatic end to the parity, going 64-6 in 2004 with nine titles.

Four women divided this year’s majors — Justine Henin-Hardenne, Anastasia Myskina, Maria Sharapova and Svetlana Kuznetsova — and a fifth, Amelie Mauresmo, is ranked No. 1 as of Monday. The depth in women’s tennis is such that Serena Williams is ranked 10th, Venus Williams is 12th, and the last two Slams were won by players seeded 13th (Sharapova at Wimbledon) and ninth (Kuznetsova at the U.S. Open).

It wasn’t long ago that Federer was the Phil Mickelson of tennis (back when the pre-green jacket Mickelson was still the Phil Mickelson of golf): the best player never to win a major. In his first 16 Slams, Federer had three times as many first-round exits (six) as quarterfinal appearances (two).

His last opening-match major loss was in May 2003.

“So many things have a changed in a little bit over a year, if you look back. After the French Open — I lost in the first round — I was sitting in the press room trying to explain why and trying to tell the people to relax a little bit and not put too much pressure on myself,” Federer recalled.

“Here were are, six Grand Slams later, and I have four of them. Now suddenly I will be ’the greatest player ever.’ It’s quite a contrast.”

© 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tennis Fool
09-14-2004, 04:11 AM
Who's putting together all of these appearances? I can't believe Mirka is doing this alone.

Dirk
09-14-2004, 04:28 AM
USTA and the ATP. Its typical of US Open winners. All slam winners face the press. US Open winners get a lot of press chances since its in NY.

tennischick
09-14-2004, 12:42 PM
On Monday, he walked into the Hard Rock Cafe in midtown Manhattan carrying a 7-pound silver trophy — and not one customer batted an eye, much less asked for an autograph or a picture with him.
i wonder if this really happened. why the heck would they book an appearance at the Hard Rock cafe on Monday morning? hello? i smell an exaggeration here by a bitter Duckfan hack journalist. :devil:

RogiFan88
09-14-2004, 02:10 PM
perish the thought...

bubbliscious
09-15-2004, 01:21 PM
Roger will never become American ! He's so proud of his native Switzerland ... No risk to see him snob everybody ...

YoursTruly
09-15-2004, 01:23 PM
"Federer becomes American" .....
and the good part would be????

WyveN
09-15-2004, 01:53 PM
"Federer becomes American" .....
and the good part would be????

Davis cup final against Spain would be far more competetive.

Mrs. B
09-15-2004, 07:43 PM
Davis cup final against Spain would be far more competetive.

:lol:

Nice article. thanks for posting.

Billabong
09-15-2004, 07:48 PM
;)

ae wowww
09-15-2004, 08:23 PM
cheers

UseTheSearchTool
09-16-2004, 04:57 AM
He speaks more than 2 languages, and has an idea of geography, he can't be American. :)

Just for the record I am not being serious, for the second part of that statement.

Gonzo Hates Me!
09-16-2004, 05:05 AM
how is it a matter of good and bad?

"Federer becomes American" .....
and the good part would be????

Hagar
09-16-2004, 08:49 AM
Federer really seems to be the perfect guy: cultivated, smart, good sense of humour, kind, handsome. On top of that he's the best tennis player around and he has loads of money.
His girlfriend is very lucky.

Marc Rosset is Tall
09-16-2004, 09:47 AM
Federer really seems to be the perfect guy: cultivated, smart, good sense of humour, kind, handsome. On top of that he's the best tennis player around and he has loads of money.
His girlfriend is very lucky.

Good observation Hagar, yet to many Americans he is still boring and no I don't agree with that.

2Tough4Men
09-16-2004, 01:47 PM
i wonder if this really happened. why the heck would they book an appearance at the Hard Rock cafe on Monday morning? hello? i smell an exaggeration here by a bitter Duckfan hack journalist. :devil:

It says nothing about an appearance. I figured that he was simply there to eat something.

RogiFan88
09-16-2004, 02:00 PM
Rogi gave interviews at the HRCafe... and he probably did eat something... American!

Clara Bow
09-16-2004, 02:14 PM
He was there for a somewhat non-formal media confernce, likely arranged by the USTA or the ATP.

Gonzo Hates Me!
09-17-2004, 05:06 AM
Good observation Hagar, yet to many Americans he is still boring and no I don't agree with that.

Who are the "many Americans?" Who are your sources? I dont think it's a matter of Federer being boring to Americans; it's just that maybe they dont identify with him b/c he's not American in a country where tennis simply isnt the shit. People root for Andy Roddick b/c they don't know any better--or worse, and I dont think there's anything wrong with that. But that doesnt equate to Americans must think Roger is boring


Americans are patriotic just like anyone else, just like Chileans, just like Russians. Much of my friends are NCAA players--they are USTA people, they are going to identify with Andy Roddick and the Americans. And these are the people that are buying tix to American tournaments and cheering loudly for the Americans. I think it's just about identity, and there's nothing wrong with that.

drf716
09-17-2004, 05:30 AM
federer is boring??!!

Zetlandsk
09-17-2004, 05:34 AM
Who are the "many Americans?" Who are your sources? I dont think it's a matter of Federer being boring to Americans; it's just that maybe they dont identify with him b/c he's not American in a country where tennis simply isnt the shit. People root for Andy Roddick b/c they don't know any better--or worse, and I dont think there's anything wrong with that. But that doesnt equate to Americans must think Roger is boring.

If Federer was an American, then there wouldn't be articles about tennis being dead, which isn't the case. Why should nationality play a major part in whether you can identify with someone, it's irrelevant, I can identify with people from different places and appreciate that. Of course they think he is boring, because he doesn't act like a Roddick type, and has a different manner, if he sang and danced and acted up more then they might not think so.

Americans are patriotic just like anyone else, just like Chileans, just like Russians. Much of my friends are NCAA players--they are USTA people, they are going to identify with Andy Roddick and the Americans. And these are the people that are buying tix to American tournaments and cheering loudly for the Americans. I think it's just about identity, and there's nothing wrong with that.

There is a difference between patriotism and jingoism. If someone cheers somebody just for the nationality, then they really don't have a clue. I wouldn't cheer someone just because they are from the same country as myself, it's not hard to broaden a narrow scope and see past that, if that is truly the case.

heya
09-17-2004, 05:54 AM
Yes, Fish and Agassi are perfect people too.:scared:
I'm a naturalized US citizen. OMG, I have to like non-U.S. players!
This is worst than all the injustice, earthquakes, flood, tornado warnings and heat waves I've gone through! :bolt:

MerchantWanker
09-17-2004, 09:01 AM
He speaks more than 2 languages, and has an idea of geography, he can't be American. :)

Just for the record I am not being serious, for the second part of that statement.

:haha:

Gonzo Hates Me!
09-17-2004, 03:47 PM
Why should nationality play a major part in whether you can identify with someone, it's irrelevant, I can identify with people from different places and appreciate that. ... There is a difference between patriotism and jingoism. If someone cheers somebody just for the nationality, then they really don't have a clue. I wouldn't cheer someone just because they are from the same country as myself, it's not hard to broaden a narrow scope and see past that, if that is truly the case.

I am very happy for you that you can identify with people all over the world. Yaaaay. But that's you--I am talking about the general public. All I am saying is tennis is not popular enough here in the US; it doesnt generate the kind of attention that American football, basketball or baseball does. For the general public to pay attention to it, of course they are going to cling to someone that is in their proximity. What do you expect! Proximity is newsworthy. …Roger does have an amazing game! I think he and Guga have the most beautiful games ever. But just because someone has a great game, does that mean he will be ‘favored’ by all, everywhere? You do realize that’s impossible? And you just have to accept the reasons why that’s impossible. I don’t think it’s a big deal, lol

And you say, “If Federer was an American, then there wouldn't be articles about tennis being dead, which isn't the case.” Again, this makes me chuckle a bit—I just don’t understand why it matters to people so much about what a bunch of naïve journalists say. Hmm, the only people making those statements are stupid journalists who live in the US?? :shrug: Something tells me that they don’t know a lot about the sport, and they are thoughtlessly referring to the presence of the sport in the US. They are going to be shallow, but why does that matter to you when you already know better?

Daniel
09-17-2004, 09:45 PM
Rogi :bigclap:

Captain Obvious
09-18-2004, 04:29 AM
It doesn't really matter whether Federer is appreciated in America, and Zet as good as it is in theory, you can't change the world or the herd-like mentality of the American TV networks or some of the fans, that they should predominantely broadcast Americans at the expense of quality live tennis elsewhere, if they want to miss out on Federer, let them it's not a big deal either way.