Best English speakers on tour (besides native speakers)

Fabresque

Professional
Obviously Federer and Djokovic are quite good with their English.

Also noticed Zverev, Cilic, and Dimitrov speak pretty good English. You could talk to them without knowing who they are and probably wouldn’t notice they’re not a native speaker.

Tsitsipas also has quite good English, just heard his voice in Toronto.

Actually most of the Balkan/Eastern European guys speak really good English (I’m grouping Zverev in too, he’s literally Russian guys).

As for the worst, Nadal is uhhh, yea. Let’s just say he’s not the best. Nishikori also doesn’t have the greatest, which surprises me considering he spent a portion of his life training at the IMG Bolletieri Academy in Florida.

Ferrer’s English also isn’t too good but I’ll give him a pass because he’s an intellectual (Seriously, the guy reads a few books a week and saves them all).

Special mention to Medvedev for his iconic “Hey Stefanos you better shut your **** up ok” and “He say bullsheet Russian you think this is normal?”
 

zep

Hall of Fame
Obviously Federer and Djokovic are quite good with their English.

Also noticed Zverev, Cilic, and Dimitrov speak pretty good English. You could talk to them without knowing who they are and probably wouldn’t notice they’re not a native speaker.

Tsitsipas also has quite good English, just heard his voice in Toronto.

Actually most of the Balkan/Eastern European guys speak really good English (I’m grouping Zverev in too, he’s literally Russian guys).

As for the worst, Nadal is uhhh, yea. Let’s just say he’s not the best. Nishikori also doesn’t have the greatest, which surprises me considering he spent a portion of his life training at the IMG Bolletieri Academy in Florida.

Ferrer’s English also isn’t too good but I’ll give him a pass because he’s an intellectual (Seriously, the guy reads a few books a week and saves them all).

Special mention to Medvedev for his iconic “Hey Stefanos you better shut your **** up ok” and “He say bullsheet Russian you think this is normal?”
Federer is almost a native speaker because his mother speaks English and he grew up speaking English with his mom. Federer's language skills are largely overrated. He obviously speaks Swiss German which is his native language, English is his close second language and he spent many years in a French speaking region of Switzerland. So all three languages came naturally to him. IMO Djokovic has better language skills than Federer. He didn't speak English that well when he first arrived in the scene, and now he is almost as fluent as a native speaker. Nadal couldn't speak one sentence in English in 2004-05. Now he speaks well enough but not as well as Djokovic obviously.
 
Last edited:

Checkmate

Hall of Fame
Federer is almost a native speaker because his mother speaks English and he grew up speaking English with his mom. Federer's language skills are largely overrated. He obviously speaks Swiss German which is his native language, English is his close second language and he spent many years in a French speaking region of Switzerland as a kid. So all three languages came naturally to him. IMO Djokovic has better language skills than Federer. He didn't speak English that well when he first arrived in the scene, and now he is almost as fluent as a native speaker. Nadal couldn't speak one sentence in English in 2004-05. Now he speaks well enough but not as well as Djokovic obviously.
You sure, mate?

Nadal is so good in English that he translated Djokovic's English into Mallorcan English

 

Druss

Hall of Fame
Obviously Federer and Djokovic are quite good with their English.

Also noticed Zverev, Cilic, and Dimitrov speak pretty good English. You could talk to them without knowing who they are and probably wouldn’t notice they’re not a native speaker.

Tsitsipas also has quite good English, just heard his voice in Toronto.

Actually most of the Balkan/Eastern European guys speak really good English (I’m grouping Zverev in too, he’s literally Russian guys).

As for the worst, Nadal is uhhh, yea. Let’s just say he’s not the best. Nishikori also doesn’t have the greatest, which surprises me considering he spent a portion of his life training at the IMG Bolletieri Academy in Florida.

Ferrer’s English also isn’t too good but I’ll give him a pass because he’s an intellectual (Seriously, the guy reads a few books a week and saves them all).

Special mention to Medvedev for his iconic “Hey Stefanos you better shut your **** up ok” and “He say bullsheet Russian you think this is normal?”
I'm not surprised about Nishikori's English. Most Japanese do not speak English and are neither interested in learning it. Yes even the younger generation (15-25)! There is a very small percentage, I'm guessing 1-4% that speak it, and that is only coming from those that live in the large cities and have some connection to (or have an interest in) Western countries. Outside the large cities, you'd be extremely hard pressed in finding someone that can speak some English (even remotely).
 

octobrina10

G.O.A.T.
Obviously Federer and Djokovic are quite good with their English.

Also noticed Zverev, Cilic, and Dimitrov speak pretty good English. You could talk to them without knowing who they are and probably wouldn’t notice they’re not a native speaker.

Tsitsipas also has quite good English, just heard his voice in Toronto.

Actually most of the Balkan/Eastern European guys speak really good English (I’m grouping Zverev in too, he’s literally Russian guys).

As for the worst, Nadal is uhhh, yea. Let’s just say he’s not the best. Nishikori also doesn’t have the greatest, which surprises me considering he spent a portion of his life training at the IMG Bolletieri Academy in Florida.

Ferrer’s English also isn’t too good but I’ll give him a pass because he’s an intellectual (Seriously, the guy reads a few books a week and saves them all).

Special mention to Medvedev for his iconic “Hey Stefanos you better shut your **** up ok” and “He say bullsheet Russian you think this is normal?”
It's clear that you don't know who Fed is. English is Fed's mother tongue! His mother started talking to him in English since he was a baby.
 

smash hit

Professional
Federer has to be discounted from this debate. His first language is of course English.

From an interview with Federer,
May 2006
INTERVIEWER- What language do you speak at home?
FEDERER - I speak Swiss German to my dad, English to my Mum and French to my physio and some of my friends. My first words were in English though.
 

Tshooter

Legend
Last edited:

Bender

G.O.A.T.
So is mine. And German is my third. I'll tell you a secret: I can't play tennis on Nadal's level, and Nadal never blamed me for it.
Great, what’s your point?

Is it that I can’t take a jab at my favourite player’s expense because he doesn’t know me to make fun of my lack of tennis ability?

Do you gatekeep in the comments section of YouTube parody videos because the makers aren’t as qualified as the people they’re parodying? Maybe refuse to comment on politicians because you aren’t one yourself?
So what? Rafa's second language is Spanish, not English. His first language is Catalan/Mallorqui (a dialect of Catalan spoken in Mallorca and its official language, together with Spanish).
If English being my second language is irrelevant then how is it relevant that Rafa’s second language is Spanish or that English is his third?

Do you stop people making fun of Djokovic’s overhead because they don’t have Grand Slams in the double figures?
 

Azure

Legend

Tshooter

Legend
Indeed is, just like how important the language is for our jobs too. However as professional sports players they can afford to have translators in their press rooms. I think that's much easier.
The press room seems the least of it. It’s about the marketing.

“It has had marketers swooning for Sharapova (who speaks English with nearly no accent) and Roger Federer.”
 

Azure

Legend
The press room seems the least of it. It’s about the marketing.

“It has had marketers swooning for Sharapova (who speaks English with nearly no accent) and Roger Federer.”
I guess it is in certain countries but I am sure if there is a top Chinese player tomorrow, his marketing skills are going to be high in China regardless of how well he speaks English. Unfortunately tennis is still a predominantly English sport.
 

Sudacafan

G.O.A.T.
Side question: are there any top ATP players who can’t really express themselves in English?
I can’t think of any.
 
D

Deleted member 307496

Guest
Obviously Federer and Djokovic are quite good with their English.

Also noticed Zverev, Cilic, and Dimitrov speak pretty good English. You could talk to them without knowing who they are and probably wouldn’t notice they’re not a native speaker.

Tsitsipas also has quite good English, just heard his voice in Toronto.

Actually most of the Balkan/Eastern European guys speak really good English (I’m grouping Zverev in too, he’s literally Russian guys).

As for the worst, Nadal is uhhh, yea. Let’s just say he’s not the best. Nishikori also doesn’t have the greatest, which surprises me considering he spent a portion of his life training at the IMG Bolletieri Academy in Florida.

Ferrer’s English also isn’t too good but I’ll give him a pass because he’s an intellectual (Seriously, the guy reads a few books a week and saves them all).

Special mention to Medvedev for his iconic “Hey Stefanos you better shut your **** up ok” and “He say bullsheet Russian you think this is normal?”
Ferrer has good to great English actually... I can say that from experience.
 
Top