Tennis Prose



Top Ten Tennis Bores and Charisma Kings

Brian Gottfried once said: “If all players behaved like me, nobody would come to watch tennis.”

I never saw Brian Gottfried play but have had the fortune to interview him several times and if his on court demeaner was considered boring, even by his own self-admission, let it be known the former world no. 3 and Roland Garros finalist’s interview skills more than compensate for that competitive characteristic.

More than a few pro tennis players are not interested in colorful outbursts or charismatic displays like Gottfried, they only care about competing the right way and trying to win. If they are considered bores, so be it. Some have even called Pete Sampras, Bjorn Borg and Chrissie Evert boring.

On the contrary, the flamboyant and egotistical Bill Tilden who once said: “The player owes the gallery as much as an actor owes the audience.”

Which players today are the top ten Brian Gottfrieds and the top ten Bill Tildens?

For the Gottfrieds I would nominate:

Pablo Carreno Busta

David Goffin

Roberto Batista Agut

Matteo Berrettini

Hubert Hurkacz

Milos Raonic

Adrian Mannarino

Richard Gasquet

Kei Nishikori

And the top ten Bill Tildens…

Novak Djokovic

Fabio Fognini

Nick Kyrgios

Rafael Nadal

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Nick Kyrgios

Frances Tiafoe

Gael Monfils

Sebi Korda

Benoit Paire

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  • Ryan Balon · May 2, 2021 at 10:40 am

    Wow you have Gasquet as boring….. with a backhand like his I could watch him all day…..

    Bublik with the win sporting the hottest new apparel soon to come to the States – Yoxoi!

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 2, 2021 at 12:14 pm

    Ryan I like Gasquet, he has a nice aesthetic game, technically beautiful but as far as on court personality and charisma, it’s close to zero. Monfils said it best, Gasquet would rather play in an empty stadium, he does not like to play in big stadiums or when the opponent fires up the crowds. Gasquet is a tennis introvert, if he had the fire and fury and ferocity of Hewitt he would have won majors.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 2, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    Haven’t seen much of Bublik, but I like what I hear how he’s colorful and fun loving and he has no reluctance to use the underhand serve which is a smart option like the uppercut punch in boxing. Anybody who objects about the underhand serve is a crybaby. Be ready for anything at all times in boxing and tennis.

  • Ryan Balon · May 2, 2021 at 11:08 pm

    So based upon Gael’s comments this could be a breakout year for Richard with the lack of fans allowed into tournaments….

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 3, 2021 at 8:17 am

    It could have been perhaps, these are the ideal conditions Gasquet likes but he’s 34 now and a fading force. The confidence, hunger, obsession and self belief to be the best may no longer be there, if it ever was. Tsitsipas, Rublev, Thiem, Medvedev have passed by Gasquet.



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