Tennis Prose



Thought of the Day: Creating Images

By Scoop Malinowski

Instead of creating a boring, unrealistic image for Alcaraz/Sinner, maybe the ATP should find a way to give the rivalry some edge and grudge like McEnroe-Connors/Lend, Seles-Graf, Agassi-Pete. Rafa-Fed might have generated much bigger revenues if there was more tension.

The ATP is currently pushing an agenda to tell us what a wonderful great guy Sinner is. Did you see that new ATP social media video of Zverev, Medvedev, Rublev, Tsitispas, etc all saying what a great and nice guy Sinner is. But the video is boring and it makes Sinner look even more boring.

Yes for sure Sinner is a great guy and a nice guy and that image creation surely helped sell Roger Federer into one of the biggest sports marketing industry icons in history. But the business masterminds of tennis seem to forget Federer was a “wildboy” – as Martina Hingis called him – in his early ATP years, a very emotional and colorful figure who struggled for years to find his way in the pro ranks. Young Federer had many agonizing failures and emotional breakdowns on the court, which many tennis fans could empathize with his suffering and persevering. Federer was up and down, hot and cold, great and awful for three years before he finally won Wimbledon at age 22.

In their early pro years Sinner and Carlos haven’t suffered like young Roger but the ATP is trying to use the Federer mold to build them into similar transcending icons. It may not work because it’s not natural, and tennis fans want to see real, raw struggling, fighting, suffering and finally redemption. The plastic, artificial images of Carlos and Sinner may not succeed no matter how much they push and promote them with fancy media campaigns.

Time will tell…

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