Yes sure there are some things that players are allowed to do that is boring like the overuse of towels, taking too long to serve and the doubles players talking behind their fists after every point! However, is this the real issue or is it that we don’t have the same number of personalities that we had in the past?
In today’s game who are the “personalities”? I would agree that Federer and Nadal have created an interest and attracted a lot of people to the game they also appear to be very impressive human beings – but “personalities”?
The modern day personalities are players like Fognini who is considered by many to be “interesting” to watch as you never know what you are going to get. However, the great distinction between Fognini and say McEnroe (apart from several Grand Slams) is that JP always tried to win! He may have been a total idiot at times, but his lack of effort was never in question. Personally I never liked McEnroe when he played but you cannot deny he put bums on seats.
Many of todays’ players express their “personality” by smashing rackets and swearing. It’s hard to think of any player who ever engages with the crown in a humorous way, perhaps Novak, but rarely, if ever, during a match.
Monfils is another modern “personality” (without any Grand Slams), but again like Fognini, another under achiever who gets his kicks from playing casual dropshots and showboating.( Yes he can be awesome on occasion)
Kyrgios may in time become a true modern personality as I think he is interested in both entertaining and winning at the same time. Plus he has the game and the mentality to win a Grand Slam!
Jimmy Connors Billie Jean King
Andre Agassi Navratilova
John McEnroe Yvonne Goolagong (Cawley)
Bjorn Borg Arantxa Sanchez Vicario
Ilie Nastase Steffi Graf
John Howie (a Scottish personality)
My favourite was Nastase, who had a great sense of fun, even if he over stepped the mark at times.
Of course, not every player can be a Nastase, but I believe that having a sense of fun at the right moments can help anyone loosen up and play better tennis. Try it before you disagree!
Who would you include in your list of tennis “personalities” who have inspired people to watch or take up the game?