Let’s have a look at which tennis players have me reaching for the TV remote to switch them on. We’ll keep the ones I want to turn off for another post. The examples below are some of my favourites and I enjoy watching them play and they inspire me to try and emulate (very poorly of course) what they do on the court.
The criteria for a player to make me want to watch them:
Absolutely can not be a whinger or have victim mentality. Good examples who do not whinge are: Federer, Rafa, Bautista Agut
Attacking mindset – aggressive all court players get bonus points.Think: Shapovalov, Stanimal, Tsitsipas, Sinner
Are great movers and athletes: Dimitrov, Monfils, Federer, Simona Halep
Can take your breath away with a magnificent shot:
Wawrinka, Federer, Shapovalov, Sinner, Rafa, Fognini and Anisimova to name a few.
Possess loads of power: Wawrinka, Thiem, Sinner, Kyrgios, Anisimova, Madison Keys
Can be colourful, explosive and smash the odd racquet as long as they don’t over do it: Fognini, even Federer smashed a few early on and the usually unflappable Isner has smashed the odd racquet
X Factor and variety: Things that can’t be taught e.g. Bianca Andreescu, Shapovalov
Any player who can entice a racquet smash from Djokovic:
Extra drawing power if on more than 1 occasion: Bautista Agut (multiple times), Rafa (multiple times)
The gold standard for me is Roger Federer. This is because I think he is the one player who can do anything on a court and look stylish while doing it. I don’t think there is a box he does not tick for me. There will be fans who say he is not the GOAT and I don’t even care to debate them. This is about aesthetics, artistry and being worthy of watching. Any player who has some similarities to Fed is going to get my attention. There are players who I go back and forth between liking and disliking to watch. Nick Kyrgios is one such player. When he turns up and doesn’t have dickhead moments he is fantastic to watch. Sadly, he too often for my taste has me pushing the TV remote off button due to my first point above. Matches like his with Federer in Miami in 2017 for example make lasting memories. Some players I like do sometimes visit point 1, but as long as they don’t overstay their welcome there and spend plenty of time in the other areas I will continue to watch them.
Who do you like watching and why?