Does Federer Get the Recognition He Deserves in America?

http://www.menstennisforums.com/showthread.php?t=147323

In the link you will find a discussion at Men’s Tennis Forum about Roger’s popularity in the US. I don’t watch tennis on ESPN and thank God for that. I have always had the feeling that in the US they do not give Roger the respect that he deserves. Apparently they show mostly Roddick and the Williams sisters on ESPN. And I’m not even talking about Rodick’s new resurgence either, they have always done it like this. So lets look at that. Roddick has won one grand slam title, while Roger has won 15. Not only that but he owns Roddick, 19-2 in h2h meetings to be exact. And to add to that, Roger also plays a much more attractive style of tennis then Roddick. I think most people would agree with that. As for the Williams sisters I can only speak for myself.

Personally I can’t stand them, especially Serena. I think she is arrogant and self-centered. If she had reason to be arrogant would still be ok, but she doesn’t. If you look at the difference between men’s tennis and women’s tennis it is massive. It might as well be a different sport. And I speak from experience. Personally I have no interest in women’s tennis whatsoever. And it’s not because I am sexist. I just don’t see the point of watching women’s tennis when I can watch men’s tennis. It’s like going to Wimbledon and having the choice to watch junior boys singles or men’s singles, and choosing junior boys. To me it just doesn’t make any sense. Not to mention the ugly grunting of the Williams sisters. Nothing beautiful or graceful about it at all.

The point is why would they show Roddick and the Williams sisters when you have a guy, the likes of which we will probably never see again, playing at the same time. Sure you wanna show the players from your own country, but not all the time. I mean the genius of Roger Federer is like a once in a lifetime experience to behold. We are truly privileged to be watching tennis in this era. Yet the US downplay his achievements and prefers to show Roddick and the Willims sisters on TV. Now before you think I have something against America, let me just say that I don’t live there and can’t exactly say what the situation is. I’m just going with things I read and what one of my American readers told me. And I read about it all the time, not just once.

I also know that since Sampras is American, the Americans will of course claim that he is the GOAT, and not Roger. In a sense that is only natural, although I’ve said way back that Roger is better then Sampras. And it turned out to be true. No one can possibly deny that Roger is the better player now. There may have been some doubts before he won the French Open and his 15th grand slam, but even before he did that he was already clearly the better player on clay, and a more complete player then Sampras ever was. This is why Sampras declared Roger as the GOAT when he won the French Open, and of course he said it again after he won Wimbledon. Yet still there are people like Bud Collins, who personally I have never heard commentate, who say that Sampras is better.

I think his argument is that Sampras won one more Wimbledon title then Roger. I mean how ridiculous can you get?! I know America likes to be the best in everything, but I think it’s only fair that they give Roger the respect that he deserves. I mean I was happy to see the Gillette ad where they had Tiger Woods, Derek Jeter and Roger. I’m not saying he gets no exposure at all, but I continually here from people that he doesn’t really get the recognition he deserves. I have to say to me that doesn’t matter all that much. If it is true that they don’t give Roger enough credit then it just reflects badly on them, not on Roger. American tennis legends like Sampras and Agassi has already declared Roger the GOAT, so all America has to do is follow the example of their greats.

But even if they don’t it wouldn’t change the fact that Roger is still better then any tennis player that came out of the US. Personally I take a certain amount of satisfaction from the fact that Roger isn’t American. You can’t have all the great sportsmen coming from one country. Already they have Jordan, Woods, Ali, Ruth, Gretzky,etc. Isn’t that enough?! Can’t there be one great that doesn’t come from the US? Is that so much to ask? Luckily there is others like Maradonna, Pele, Laver and Roger, or else it would have been so boring. I must say the comment by Pam Shriver that Serena Williams will overtake Roger, Tiger and Sampras is really the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. The fact that someone can utter such complete nonsense is beyond me.

Just the fact that someone like that commentates in the US already says a lot. Anyway I have a lot of readers from the US, so at least that is a good thing. Despite all of these things I know that Roger has many fans in the US, and I applaud those people for refusing to be brainwashed. I guess America has always been good at brainwashing their public through the media, and certainly if they don’t believe Roger is better than Sampras then that is testament to that fact. But more then anything this post is about applauding my American readers for seeing the truth, because like I said it doesn’t matter much to me if Roger is not given a lot of credit in the US. It’s their loss, not mine.

I’m not sure whether Roger gets the recognition in the US that he deserves, so I will give my American readers a chance to vote.

Does Roger get the recognition he deserves in the US?

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15 Comments

  1. Nice article. I don’t think it’s entirely accurate as you have no frame of reference if you don’t actually watch American TV. I do. I’m not American though, I’m Canadian. I was watching Wimbledon, and during the final, I was really put off by how blatantly pro-Roddick that John McEnroe was in his commentary. So much so that I switched to the BBC broadcast online.

    McEnroe is a chump, but saying that Roddick had it all but wrapped up really isn’t giving the proper respect to Federer’s ability to hang on and mid-match, bring out his complete game. This match was so close that a break points were hard to come by, but throughout, Roger was scoring points against Roddick’s serve, when Roger’s serve was often going 15-0, 30-0, 40-0, game. McEnroe never brought that up.

    And by the way, Gretzky is Canadian!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well thats what i said in the article, that i cant really say cos im not American. But Americans seem to differ on the subject themselves. A lot of people are going on about how unlucky Roddick was, but to me that is a faulty argument. He had all those changes in the second set tie break and he pretty much choked. At a point like that Roger or another great would never have missed that backhand volley. Even in the end Roddick still looked like he could take it, but Roger just hung in there and did the business. Roger deserved to win, whether it was through his own genius or Roddicks choking, it doesnt matter much. Sorry about Gretzky, its great to know he is not American! Thanks for the comment.

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  2. It’s not just the tennis coverage. Forgive the rantings of a bitter figure skating fan, but in my experience, American sports coverage cares nothing for sports in which American athletes are not dominant, or athletes that are not American, far more than in other countries. Biased? Don’t even get me started. We Americans in fact ought to be grateful for the existence of Andy and especially the Williams sisters, because if they did not exist, the only TV coverage we’d get would probably be NBCs doing the finals, maybe a couple of semi-finals, tape delayed of course.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah i heard the tennis coverage is pretty ridiculous over there. Id go crazy over there lol. Maybe they will show a bit more with the resurgence of Roddick now. Maybe its also cos American tennis isnt what it used to be. You used to have Sampras, Agassi, Courier, Chang, Martin, just so many guys up there. These days you only have Roddick and Blake more or less :-(

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  3. What a great post. I have been commenting for awhile about Roger not getting the respect he deserves, especially here in the USA. If Roger was American and not from Switzerland, he would be hyped up on the Jordan, Woods level. Americans only care about Americans and people that Americans view as American-like (Rafa, Murray, Nole, for example always get positive feedback from the media) I have noticed for years that with Roger’s persona, Americans see him as “boring”, “without a personality” and “arrogant”, while Rafa is seen as “hard working and fearless”, Murray as “relentless” and Nole as “talented” and “great and funny personality”. It will be nice if everyone would wake up and see that the tennis world really does revolve around Roger and nobody else. Roger is truly one of a kind and the “freak of nature from Basel”.

    Oh by the way Ru-an, since you really read our post, Where are your from?

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Hi Denise, great comment as well. What you are saying is exactly what i suspected, and im not just saying that. But believe it or not that is good news to me. If Roger was just another player they would say the same things about him that they are saying about the others. But they know how good he is and it hurts that he is not from the US. If he was from the US they would worsip him, even more so then Woods. Its a shame that Americans act this way. Arent we one humanity? Why do they always have to be so unique and superior? They are just hurting themselves by acting this way if you ask me. But again i dont hate America or anything, they obviously make a big contribution to the world.

    Im from South Africa, where in the states are you from?

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  4. What an excellent post I agree with you both.(Denise)
    Spanish ESPN´s commentators are exactly like the American ones,I hate them all.
    Peter Bodo said:”There was a sort of tristesse after Federer secured the tittle.This was a symbolic victory for Roddick”.I don´t remember the same feeling after Roger´s loss last year.
    And then in the winner press conference was rather idiotically asked about Roddick, Nadal…at last Roger said:”It´s not the mistake of the one who wins in the end”… I really felt the situation disminished his achievement.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Those people should be ashamed of themselves for acting like children. Rogers celebration afterwards was rather muted out of respect for Andy. And thats a shame because it was the biggest event in the history of tennis. I have read some of Bodo’s stuff, last thing i read he was critisizing Roger big time for his fashion statements. This guy is obviously a hater and cant appreciate tennis. Have you seen how many readers this guy have?! Alot. He writes well but the things he says makes no sense. I dont write as well as him but at least i make sense and know my tennis. He says things like Montanes will make semis at the FO, yet i correctly predicted that Gonzalez would make semis in that bracket of the draw. Guess who have more readers? Bodo by far. Honestly the guy writes so much crap it makes me sick. Lol! And i assume he is American?

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  5. You know somebody is sexist when they start by telling you they’re not sexist! I suppose you also don’t watch any sports in which both men and women can compete. Why would you, when you can watch the men? Why watch women compete at the Olympics for example when the men are also competing in the same genre? Really, who gives a fig about the women’s 100m finals when we know they won’t ever run as fast as Bolt? Those little women should just stick with what they do best, catwalk, right?

    Also, for someone who doesn’t watch women’s tennis, how exactly would you know about the grunting (and how can anyone mention grunting in the WTA without mentionning Sharapova is besides me!)? And since you also don’t watch women’s tennis, how exactly do you judge their level? Have a magic crystal ball? Yes, Serena sure doesn’t have anything to be arrogant about what, with her having 11 GS and thus being the most succesful tennis player of her generation (Hingis, Davenport, Capriati, Henin, Venus, Mauresmo, etc). She won the last 3 GS out of 4, just like Roger. Whether the women’s field is weak or not, she dominates it so the point is meek. You can only beat your opponents. It’s not her fault really if Safina (or anyone else for that matter) can’t hold serve to save her life! Since you have stated you have no interest whatsoever in women’s tennis, then there’s really no reason for you to be commenting about their #2 player or the state of the game!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Ok well then if it makes me sexist because i enjoy men’s tennis more then women’s tennis then i guess i am sexist. Lol! And yes, i much prefer the men’s 100M to the women’s, and again if that makes me sexist then so be it. Now that you mention the catwalk thing, yeah i prefer to see women on a catwalk actualy. Women have other strenghts that men don’t have, like beauty and grace.
    How would i know about the grunting? Its hard to miss! I wouldnt be much of a tennis writer if i didnt know about the grunting now would i? If you go through my archives you will find that i have even made a post about it. And you know what? Its unacceptable! Do you ever hear Roger squeal like a pig? No. Do you even hear him grunt for that matter? No. Roger is the perfect ambassador for the game and we need to look no futher to know how one should behave on a tennis court.
    Roger has won 15 GS titles and Serena 11, but thats besides the point. Serena wouldnt get a point against Roger if they played, yet she is 10X as arrogant! I have every right to comment on the women’s game. I only have one word for you: Tokenism.

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    Lissa Reply:

    It’s not enjoying men’s tennis more than women’s that make you sexist (I enjoy men’s tennis more, doesn’t make me sexist) it’s the way you stated that there really isn’t a need for women’s tennis seing as it’s such a “different” game than men’s tennis. And by different you clearly meant inferior! The women aren’t competing against the men, they’re competing against themselves. Just because they lack the strenght of most men desn’t make it less interesting to watch. And that comment about beauty and grace isn’t even worth commenting on. It’s the 21st century man, wake up! It’s been discovered women have more going for them than beauty and grace,things like brains and in some case strenght.

    About grunting, it’s unacceptable but I think it’s telling that you choose to focus on the Williams instead of your ” big babe” of tennis Sharapova who is the loudest female player.

    And what the hell was that comment about tokenism supposed to mean? Two words: Steffi Graf.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Lol! Your kidding me right? Where exactly did i state there isnt a need for women’s tennis? I said i had no interest in womens tennis at all. Thats two very different things. Please dont put words in my mouth, thats something i dont appreciate at all. I guess you think there is something wrong with beauty and grace then. For me on the other it is two very important things. I happen to think women are more spiritually evolved then men which is way more important then something silly like tennis. And besides that i like them way more then men, and im not just talking in a sexual sense. Seriously you have me summed up all wrong. I will say this though: The fact that there is equal prize money for men and women in tennis is tokenism and i am entitled to think that. As for the Serena and Sharapova, their grunting is both ridiculous and should be stopped. But of course Masha is actually hot, and shes not arrogant like Silly Serena.

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  6. Would like to make a few comments on this subject. I do think Roger has a good following of fans in America. Think he is well respected and well liked. The likes of Bodo, etc. will find negativism no matter what. Now that Roddick made a good showing, he is already being celebrated as the next King of Tennis. Give me a break! Roddick has improved I believe and I wish him well. I liked Sampras a lot, he was a gentlemen tennis player and so is Roger Federer. The people recognize the good in a player. Am looking forward to Roger’s playing, he is my idol, and this is an old Grandma talking.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well i agree very much with and old grandma! Its kinda funny how crazy they are going over Roddick in the states now, but its deserved i guess. I guess you and me are both oldschool, we like the gentlemen like Sampras and Roger. Two class acts!

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  7. Fact is the US produces world class athletes in a lot of sports so they are in a position to follow them and root for them. Very few other countries do and so the people there root for the best in whatever sport it is. For instance I am from India where we produce no world class athletes- so we root for Federer and Brazil and so on. But if India had a soccer team that went to the World Cup then I am sure our television coverage will be biased towards their games. If Sania Mirza ever made it past the preliminary rounds, the local channels will try to show her matches and the newspapers will cover her performance. As it is she gets coverage in India way out of proportion to her performance.
    Take the TdF- British newspapers headlined Cavendish and Wiggins rather than Contador and the brothers Fleck. How is that any different than American newspapers giving precedence to Lances’s 3rd place over Contador’s first?

    Of course it is a shame that more Americans don’t get to see Federer’s playing style but a couple of guys I spoke to who are NTRP (NRTP?) ranked players said that he “doesn’t do anything for them”. This is a nation that enjoys the violence of gridiron football and agricultural mows of baseball- the concept of artistry in sports is alien!

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