How did you start following your favourite player?

Firstservingman

Talk Tennis Guru
#1
I'm only 22 and didn't start watching pro tennis until 2007. One day I was flipping through the channels looking for the cricket (a sport very popular here in Australia) and I couldn't find it so I watched tennis, which was on at the time.
I knew what tennis was but had no idea of the rules or anything. I quickly worked out that the ball had to stay within the lines and how the score worked (but I thought 15-30-40 made no sense and I still don't).

Anyway, by sheer chance and the likelihood that the TV channel prioritizes matches with top players, the match was Federer vs. Robredo at AO 2007. I wasn't sure which player was which and had never seen these guys before, but I worked out quickly which one was Federer from looking at the score change.
I didn't know the rules as I said before but I could see that whatever they were, Federer was very good at this. He was my guy from right then and there for the same reason he has always been - he makes it look easy. He just had that air of someone who really, really knew what he was doing.
With the cricket now forgotten I tuned in the following day only to find out over the course of the afternoon that players play every second day at majors. When I did see his next match the commentators were saying that it was going to be tougher than the last one and, well, it wasn't. The man could play. I was hooked.
I had no idea about who he was or about his past performance though until I looked him up online after the Roddick match and I realised that this was pretty usual for him. I read up on the rules of tennis too.

For me the funniest and most memorable part is that even then, a handful of tennis matches into my career as a tennis fan and two matches into my career as a Federer fan, that good old ever-present irrational Federer fan anxiety had set in.
Come the day of the final I was really nervous, but in the end he once again made mincemeat of his opponent and, as I still do now, I saw his lifting of that trophy as a triumph for one of the most beautiful and impressive things in life: Doing something so hard so well that to all the world it appears easy.
 

King No1e

Hall of Fame
#2
January 2008. Was flipping through channels on my TV and found Australian Open tennis. Federer vs Djokovic in the SF, 1st set. I had heard a little about Federer, nothing about Djokovic. Commentators were gushing over Federer and all his records (bear in mind he's at probably the highest point of his career, 10 finals in a row), but then Djokovic broke him. And then he broke him again. And then he won the set. And I already made up my mind. This underdog was playing inspired tennis, and the commentators were shocked. I didn't know any tennis rules, any statistics, nothing. I was just captivated by Novak's clean, elegant strokes, his intensity, his athleticism, his fighting spirit, his defiant refusal to be awed into submission by the seemingly superhuman player on the other side. I enjoyed every second of that match, up till the triumphant straight-set finish. From that day on I became a fan of le beau jeu.
 

Firstservingman

Talk Tennis Guru
#3
January 2008. Was flipping through channels on my TV and found Australian Open tennis. Federer vs Djokovic in the SF, 1st set. I had heard a little about Federer, nothing about Djokovic. Commentators were gushing over Federer and all his records (bear in mind he's at probably the highest point of his career, 10 finals in a row), but then Djokovic broke him. And then he broke him again. And then he won the set. And I already made up my mind. This underdog was playing inspired tennis, and the commentators were shocked. I didn't know any tennis rules, any statistics, nothing. I was just captivated by Novak's clean, elegant strokes, his intensity, his athleticism, his fighting spirit, his defiant refusal to be awed into submission by the seemingly superhuman player on the other side. I enjoyed every second of that match, up till the triumphant straight-set finish. From that day on I became a fan of le beau jeu.
Haha I was so let down after that match. But I respected Djokovic's courage in standing up to Federer that day and I still do.
 

TagUrIt

Professional
#5
I like most was flipping through the channels and stumbled across a late night tennis match. Initially I said "Damn who's that hot tall German girl playing tennis?"LOL I soon learned more about Julia and saw that she is an incredible athlete! She always displays good sportsmanship, is charitable and is classy lady on and off the court. Her serve is absolutely AMAZING, her ace count in 2018, nearly 500 aces! I had a chance to see her play in person at the Moscow River Cup 2018 and even though she lost, it was still a joy to watch her play.

 
#7
Was looking for a new sport to watch and tennis appealed the most with its beautiful complexity. Checked out the top players, found an aged legend still fighting despite getting asskicked a lot - the year was 2013, strugglerer times. Observed the dull ones and their friends talking smack about him to no end and felt like rooting for the great justice. I'm partial to old legends holding on so that's what drew me in first, the beautifulerer appreciation came later.
 
#8
I had been away from tennis for years, got tired of it, and other interests took over the attention. I played occasionally, but didn't follow the tour.

Then I saw Djokovic-Wawrinka AO 2013 by chance, and got sucked in again. What a match! I've been appreciating Wawrinka's game a lot ever since, very brave tennis in my eyes. Lovely skills.

I also had the pleassure of watching Djokovic-Delpo Wimbledon match on a holiday in San Sebastian, and from there on, I really began watching a lot of tennis again. I realised I had been missing it.

Since 2015 tennis has been in a strange inbetween phase for me. No new stars, the good ones getting older, the level slowly decreasing, rivalries fading. But Stan has stood out, maximizing his game, making the most out of his chances :cool: That said, I believe the best version of Stan would have been relevant even in 2010-2012, but he wasn't there mentally.
 
#9
was a big fan of federer and his majestic tennis and humility. remember his ao matches against davydenko, roddick, murray being a melbournian. thought nadal was a clay court merchant, butt picker, etc. ao2009 pained me at the time. thought djokovic was boring, injury faker, excessive ball bouncer, etc. i saw the real light during us open 2015. djokodal ever since.
 

Tennis_Hands

Talk Tennis Guru
#10
was a big fan of federer and his majestic tennis and humility. remember his ao matches against davydenko, roddick, murray being a melbournian. thought nadal was a clay court merchant, butt picker, etc. ao2009 pained me at the time. thought djokovic was boring, injury faker, excessive ball bouncer, etc. i saw the true light during us open 2015. djokodal ever since.
So, you saw the true light of Nadal not being a butt-picker, and Djokovic not being an excessive ball bouncer, and then you watched US Open, where Federer had one of the strongest showings for a modern player of his age and since then you are "djokodal ever since"?

:unsure:
 
#11
So, you saw the true light of Nadal not being a butt-picker, and Djokovic not being an excessive ball bouncer, and then you watched US Open, where Federer had one of the strongest showings for a modern player of his age and since then you are "djokodal ever since"?

:unsure:
don't think you understand
 
#14
My first match ever watched on TV was Agassi-Dent 3R AO 2005, and actually witnessed Fed-Safin but had no clue how epic that match was at that time. Followed the big tournaments (Masters and slam) every now and then depending on local TV coverage. Have always followed Fed but not that closely, FO 2011 was when I really started paying more attention, but iirc it wasn't until WTF 2011 until I followed tournaments day in day out.
 
#18
Saw Nikoloz Basilashvili play in a challenger on the ATP challenger Livestream in 2014. I thought his shots looked good and I admired his aggression off every ball. I've been a fan ever since.
 
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