Originally Posted by TMF
American only care if their players dominated the sport. It's too bad that other countries have caught up and surpassed them, just like Australian use to dominate the sport but now have to take the back seat. The US has to put much more of an effort than in the 80s and 90s in order to have a great players like Sampras or McEnroe. In fact, every countries has to continuously improve or else they will be out of the picture.
Right, because Fed doesn't have a huge following in the states. He didn't just play an exhibition at Madison Square Garden this year and he doesn't have at least 4 national commercials here - Lindt, Rolex, Mercedes and Gillette. Sure you need to be great to be widely known. Just like every other country. Maybe tennis players as a whole aren't as widely known here as in most European countries, but that's because we have a lot more pro sports whereas it's just soccer, tennis, golf maybe F1 in western Europe and some low revenue fringe sports. I'd venture to say right now Fed is every bit as popular here as Sampras or Roddick. Maybe not McEnroe but that's as the result of him being more well known than just a tennis player. He's a celebrity not just an athlete. I suspect if Nadal spoke better English, didn't always carry a snarl on his face when he plays, and said something relevant once and awhile he wouldn't be far behind either. I'd also bet large quantities of cash that the average American would recognize Fed and Nadal in a lineup before Messi and Ronaldo or Beckham. Beckham has a Burger King ad here and I suspect (since there is no mention of soccer) that most people think he's Jason Statham or something.