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I like this article, not so much because it's pro-Fed, but because it points out the appauling nature of tennis in the USA where non-Americans don't get the respect they deserve. At first I didn't care that he was first in the OOP, but then when I watched the match and saw that the stands were only like half full, I thought that's crap - #1 player in the world, defending champ and in his first match he's playing to a half empty stadium at 11 am. That's crap.

http://www.newsday.com/sports/colum...673500,print.column?coll=ny-sports-columnists

A virtuoso like Federer deserves more respect
Johnette Howard
SPORTS COLUMNIST

He is the defending champion of this tournament, the No. 1 player in the world, a man who, at 24 years old, is already touted as the best tennis player ever. That's all Roger Federer of Switzerland has going for him. And yet, Federer was asked to haul his bones out to center court yesterday to make his tournament debut at the definitely not-ready-for-prime-time hour of 11 a.m. The stadium was barely half full. Cars were still filing into the parking lots.

"I was little bit surprised," Federer admitted, though only when pressed. "I don't play much in the morning anymore."

A bigger egoist would have had a snit. Federer is the best European-born player to rise to No. 1 since Bjorn Borg, and yet whenever he comes to New York, he has to hear questions again and again about whether fans (read: Americans) will ever embrace a non-American tennis king like him. People say it as if class doesn't transcend borders. Or being appreciated for your ability depends on where you're from.

The suggestion is a lousy one, and yet it has become one of those bromides about tennis that's mindlessly repeated without being sternly challenged. The idea persists, even though what it insinuates is Americans are so jingoistic or shallow minded, we only can appreciate other Americans, not the likes of a Federer or a Borg, a Becker or a Graf. Well, says who?

"It's such parochial thinking," U.S. Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe said.

The yearning for American stars might be a reality for the folks who run TV, but it shouldn't sway the rest of us tennis fans who appreciate Federer for the marvel that he is, or sports fans in general, most of whom aren't accused of applying the same All-American standards to other sports.

Being a soft-spoken Canadian didn't prevent Wayne Gretzky from being an American sports hero. And there are many other examples. Well, Federer is tennis' equivalent of Gretzky. He's a magician with his racket, and a champion who oozes imagination, grace and smarts (he is fluent in five languages). As McEnroe pointed out yesterday, Federer has the beautiful, all-around game that explodes the damning but too often true complaint that men's tennis is boring because it's become all about the serve.

"Well, here's a guy who can hit every shot, a guy who understands and exploits the geometry of the game," McEnroe said. "And I hope people appreciate the way he's changed it. I hope they recognize what kind of guy he is, too. You look at the women's game now and, please. The women are all out for themselves. Roger cares about himself and he cares about the game. He's embraced the responsibility of being No. 1."

Federer's ability is so far above everyone else on tour, watching him dismiss Czech opponent Ivo Minar, 6-1, 6-1, 6-1, yesterday was almost a wincing experience. The dissection was artful, all right. But the yawning gap between them was almost cruel.

If Federer were a differently constructed person, he might have come into the press room after that, huffing about his scheduling like other superstars, everyone from John McEnroe to Boris Becker to Martina Navratilova, have before him. Back in 1987, even nice-guy Swedes Stefan Edberg and Mats Wilander were so upset about having to play their Open semifinal at 11 a.m., they refused to take the court on time just to make the TV networks squirm.

If Federer felt similarly disrespected yesterday, he took it in stride. He's different, all right. And that's the best thing about him.

"Being outrageous, trying to get attention, he won't play that game," Patrick McEnroe said.
 

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Well, it didn't hurt that Gretzky played for an American team (after Edmonton) in what has become a largly American league. Otherwise the comparison is fine, but that is a pretty key difference ;)
 

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Interesting about Edberg and Wilander purposely showing up late. :lol: Good article.
 

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Oh, it was quite humorous about Stefan and Mats coming out late. Connors was playing in the other SF against Lendl and he would of course get the prime time slot match. Edberg/Mats was probably the better match up as everyone knew Lendl was going to kill a 35 year old Connors. But between them, Connors and Lendl had 7 USO titles so I think it was justified.
 

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I agree: the time slot must have a lot to do with it.
But, they put other big names on early time slots as well: Serena Williams, Nadal, Clijsters.
 

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well, americans have a lot of pride, plus they have too many players, if america didnt have any good players, they would, likke argentina, you think most of argentina would like federer over coria or nalbandian? i mean its really really hard not to discriminate when choosing favorites.....speaking myself as an American im one of the few that am a Federer fan more than anyone else mainly because I was raised to many cultures and have always appreciated European culture but I am still a loyal American.
 

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Americans love Hollywood, drama and scandals. If you are not American and dont have those 3 you dont win America over period.
 

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At least Roddick won't take too much of coverage and prime time from Rog right now... :devil: This ethnocentrism is boring, the only thing they will get is an upset Roger, which is never good (ask Lleyton in 2004)...
 

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Roger being moved to a minimal timezone has nothing to do with respect.
New York is only trying to make money.
And a guy like Roger; doesn't draw as many American viewers as Andy.
 

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mirkaland said:
You look at the women's game now and, please. The women are all out for themselves.
:rolleyes: so much for R.E.S.P.E.C.T., huh?
 

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disturb3d said:
Roger being moved to a minimal timezone has nothing to do with respect.
New York is only trying to make money.
And a guy like Roger; doesn't draw as many American viewers as Andy.
A guy like Roger...best player in the world but not American...sais enough.

The sneer at the women was uncalled for, so much for respect :rolleyes:
 

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Thanks for the article.

"Being outrageous, trying to get attention, he won't play that game," Patrick McEnroe said.

This is what I love about him. His talent is a gift, his attitude is something he chose.
 

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Roger can draw the crowd through his game. But if he is allocated a slot where there is little or no crowd, how can he draw them? People need to see Roger play to want to see him play the more. If he had been allocated the night time slot, then people will get to appreciate his talent. IMO, even a 'blind' person can see Roger has got a lot of shots.
 

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No doubt Roger is today^s best player, however, most top players have to perform early for at least one match. Also, his opponent was a nobody and therefore it was bound to be an uninteresting match. P McEnroe is in love with Roger almost to the point of being insulting to other top players and even Sampras. The fact is that Roger^s competition today does not compare to the likes of a young Agassi, Becker, Courier, Edberg etc.. It is not Roger^s fault, just a fact. A 28-30 year old Agassi would hold his own against Roger. A prime Sampras would probably beat Roger 3 out of 5 times, off clay. Americans are naturally going to root for an American, or a foreign underdog against Roger not because they do not like or respect Roger but because they want an American to win or see a competitive match. Europeans are not known to root for foreign players over their own. GET REAL!!
 

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Castafiore said:
I agree: the time slot must have a lot to do with it.
But, they put other big names on early time slots as well: Serena Williams, Nadal, Clijsters.
but are they the no1 players in the world? are they winiing slam after slam? are they being touted as the greatest of all time? do they do as much for the game as roger? no
 

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I do agree, however, that the timing of a semifinal between Edberg and Wilander was stupid and insulting. Good for them for making the tv station-CBS{?} sweat!
 
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