30 Days of Tennis Challenge – Day 7: First player you became a fan of
August 2, 2011 8 Comments
There was a time when little old me, a late bloomer tennis-wise, was a casual fan. In this yore, more or less dated as the time between 2007 and the beginning of 2009, I was unaware of the existence of such things like the Scoreboard, the ATP website (“what is WTA?”). I also had little or none interest in following tennis beyond the TV coverage of Masters Series and Grand Slams. I would just turn on the TV and hey, tennis, I like it.
I wrote this whole prologue to justify and explain why Roger Federer is the first player I ever became a fan of.
For more I dislike him now – nothing personal, Winchy (you’re a big fan, sorry honey) – that’s because of his ridiculous dominance of the male circuit. But from my first contacts with tennis to 2009 Wimbledon final, I was a huge fan of Mr. Federer.
His gracious style, the way he swiftly moves on the court, the Swiss class and the fact he was Rafa’s opposite pole were enough for me.
(And oh, the fact he was always on TV, dominated the news more than Nadal [remember the days when Nadal was a dirt-baller?] and how I would piss my friend off rooting for him were also a significant influence)
This does not mean, at all, I was a Roddick hater or a called him Derroddick (it’s Portuguese – “Derrota” means “loss”) like some of my friends at a social media did. No, Andy was always my number two.
And when Federer finally won Roland Garros, completing the Career Slam and tying Sampras’ record – still breaking my heart for beating Haas and Soderling – I felt my job was done. Wimbledon 2009, which crowned him as the biggest Grand Slam winner among men, instead of fueling my love for him happened to cause the reverse reaction. I was so heartbroken Roddick lost I could never root for Roger again, though I still celebrated his Cincy title a few months later.
That clarified the paths I follow up to this day.
This is it. Some people regret having a video of themselves dancing on a table top, naked, to a Ke$ha song. I just regret rooting, one day, for the guy who has a 37-3 aggregated H2H v. my two favorite players.
Maybe it’s not that bad, huh?
Gustavo Kuerten, or simply Guga. Probably every Brazilian who started liking tennis in the second half of the 1990s like him. I probably did, too. Thing is, I was too young when he peaked to actually root for him.
Marat Safin. When I got Smash Court Pro Tennis 2 for PS2 he was my favorite – and my mother’s too. One of the first matches I sat to watch involved him (can’t remember much more than that). I also don’t know a single person who dislikes him. But just like Guga, when I started following it for good, he was already far from his prime. Less TV exposure = eh.
Andy Roddick. I liked him and Federer almost the same. But I decided to be honest with you. He was my number two.