I just prefer the veterans...
Its finally dawned on me that when it comes to tennis and supporting players, I just subconciously gravitate towards supporting the veterans.
The very first reason I ever cheered for ANYONE was when I first started watching tennis in 87 when Martina equalled the all-time Wimbledon record when she beat Graf in str8 sets.
The following year I was heavily supporting Martina as she tried to beat the record, and the year after that - I got hooked on Martina cuz at the time I just liked the fact that this over 30 year old woman was approaching the twilight of her career and was running out of chances.
Graf turned into my nemesis, but even with her, over the years I warmed to her more and more as she became less of a stoic, cold player and showed more emotion etc - culminating in me ACTUALLY SUPPORTING GRAF in the 99 French Open final vs Hings...I now regret supporing Graf considering what happened to Hingis after that match, it was a very surreal experience for me supporting Graf in a match - but again, what got me was that she was running out of chances etc..
When the Williams sisters began to dominate, I always wanted them to lose. But now that they are vulnerable, I subconciously have started to hope that they can return and come back and be succesful again - theres something about vulernability that makes me cheer.
Its interesting though because a lot of people jump ion the bandwagon of the 'next best thing' - the latest 16 or 17 year old that comes along that looks as if she will dominate.. I personally tend to cheer AGAINST 'the next best thing'..
The YEC's was the first real match where I found myself VEHEMENTLY cheering on a Williams sister and REALLY, desperately wnating her to win...which was cause for a bit of soulsearching asking myself 'why ive come around to Serena'...
and i think the answer is simple - I just like the veterans.
Who do you prefer? the veteran running out of time? Or the 'next best thing'??
Of even more significance, there's this little gap in Graf's resume the size of the hole in the ozone layer: It's called Monica Seles. Was Graf the best female player of all time? She wasn't even the best in the heart of her career.
- Frank Deford, Sports Illustrated 27/8/01