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View Full Version : Are the players on the WTA friendly enough with fans?


Silvio Dante
Apr 13th, 2008, 03:24 PM
I understand it must be annoying having to put up with endless photo and autograph requests…but are the players friendly enough with fans? Most players I have come across couldn’t wait to get far enough away….they didn’t show much appreciation for the fans at all…I have been dismayed with many and surprised by few…how about you?

Wiggly
Apr 13th, 2008, 03:37 PM
Well, you don't ask an autograph before a practice or a match. Many people don't understand that simple fact.

The lower ranked players will sign or take a photo for sure. They're happy someone knows them. :lol:

Dav.
Apr 13th, 2008, 03:39 PM
I understand it must be annoying having to put up with endless photo and autograph requests?but are the players friendly enough with fans? Most players I have come across couldn?t wait to get far enough away?.they didn?t show much appreciation for the fans at all?I have been dismayed with many and surprised by few?how about you?

All of the players I met on Wednesday were extremely kind, except the Szavay's and Sharapova (who signed for others before me). I wrote more about it in my report, but I was very impressed by how nice all of the players were. I also heard stories from other spectators saying the same thing. What event did you attend?

Dav.
Apr 13th, 2008, 03:40 PM
All of the players I met on Wednesday were extremely kind, except the Szavay's and Sharapova (who signed for others before me). I wrote more about it in my report, but I was very impressed by how nice all of the players were. I also heard stories from other spectators saying the same thing. What event did you attend?
Excuse me, Friday. (I can't edit.)

LudwigDvorak
Apr 13th, 2008, 03:47 PM
I mostly was only able to speak with the players while they were on the practice court or after they finished their practice. I only got autographs of Vera and Haynes, but both were after they were finished with their practice/match. In general, most of the players I spoke with weren't very kind towards me, but Brenda Schultz-McCarthy was great.

There's still time for me meet and talk with more, though. I'm sure I just spoke with them at bad times.

Dave.
Apr 13th, 2008, 03:51 PM
I can't stand when players just ignore fans when it's just a simple autograph or picture. I know it's annoying but they have to realise that without the fans they wouldn't have a job, it's as simple as that. I think Billie-Jean needs to get back and drill this into their minds. I think they should give autographs any time, who cares if it's before a match or practice? If they can't re-focus themselves when they actually get on court they should get another job.

Wannabeknowitall
Apr 13th, 2008, 03:57 PM
In some cases the WTA players are not friendly enough with fans and sometimes they are.

I like Conchita Martinez's game but after meeting her I understand why Patty was so nasty to her at one point.
I find Patty to be one of the most friendly players on tour.

Again I remember reading an article on here on one of her fans who is paralyzed but is her biggest fan.
I saw him at the US Open one year and the smile on his face when I called him Patty's biggest fan got me emotional.

Some people have called Nicole Vaidisova's interaction with fans to be rude.
I found her as one of the most mature 16 yo. (at the time) I've come across.

Lisa Raymond has been nice to me but I've seen interactions when she's not.

So it really depends on the player and when you interact with them.
But Conchi is a pure bitch, that's a constant.

Slutiana
Apr 13th, 2008, 04:04 PM
In some cases the WTA players are not friendly enough with fans and sometimes they are.

I like Conchita Martinez's game but after meeting her I understand why Patty was so nasty to her at one point.
I find Patty to be one of the most friendly players on tour.

Again I remember reading an article on here on one of her fans who is paralyzed but is her biggest fan.
I saw him at the US Open one year and the smile on his face when I called him Patty's biggest fan got me emotional.

Some people have called Nicole Vaidisova's interaction with fans to be rude.
I found her as one of the most mature 16 yo. (at the time) I've come across.

Lisa Raymond has been nice to me but I've seen interactions when she's not.

So it really depends on the player and when you interact with them.
But Conchi is a pure bitch, that's a constant.

Yeah, Patty is really nice. Some people are just not in a good mood. It's great to see people who appreciate the fans and sign for everyone but no one's perfect.

Shine On Silver Moon
Apr 13th, 2008, 04:06 PM
Agree...Patty is really nice...others: Ivanovic, Tanasugarn, Daniilidou etc...

drake3781
Apr 13th, 2008, 05:01 PM
Nice, and happy to thank you for your wishes, wave, smile:

Vesnina, Daniilidou, Tiantian Sun, Domachowska, Meng Yuan, Zi Yan.
Brenda Shultz-McCarthy. :p


For the ones that don't seem so approachable/friendly, people have to remember they are trying to get their business done, and it is very hard to have muliple, constant, random interruptions of their lives. At least it would be for me.

peikko
Apr 13th, 2008, 05:06 PM
I can't stand when players just ignore fans when it's just a simple autograph or picture. I know it's annoying but they have to realise that without the fans they wouldn't have a job, it's as simple as that. I think Billie-Jean needs to get back and drill this into their minds. I think they should give autographs any time, who cares if it's before a match or practice? If they can't re-focus themselves when they actually get on court they should get another job.

I totally agree. Some players don't seem to understand that it's a three-way cycle of sponsors - supporters - player where the supporters and sponsors play an important role. Not only BJK should drill this into their minds but also player sponsors.

joão.
Apr 13th, 2008, 05:09 PM
All of the players I met on Wednesday were extremely kind, except the Szavay's and Sharapova (who signed for others before me). I wrote more about it in my report, but I was very impressed by how nice all of the players were. I also heard stories from other spectators saying the same thing. What event did you attend?

idgi. Agnes and Maria aren't kind because they didn't sign for you first? :confused:

416_Man
Apr 13th, 2008, 05:45 PM
Give the players a break. During a tournament, players train for a good two hours on court, one hour off court, they often have to do meet and greets with the media, corporate sponsors, all while trying to prepare for upcoming matches and enjoy the city that they are visiting.

How often after a tirelessly long workout in the heat, would you feel like taking pictures, signing autographs, and talking to people for an additional 10 minutes, when you just want to shower, rest, and recouperate?

The players are where they are because of their skills. Not because they befriend the fans. Not because they smile at the cameras. Not because they sign yellow balls.

drake3781
Apr 13th, 2008, 05:45 PM
idgi. Agnes and Maria aren't kind because they didn't sign for you first? :confused:

No, that is not what he meant. Read his day report if you want to understand it.

meyerpl
Apr 13th, 2008, 06:37 PM
From what I've seen of fan behavior toward players, coupled with the fact that players inevitably get wierd, disturbing mail and most probably have stalkers, I wouldn't blame players if they carried a loaded shotgun everywhere they went and shot anyone who came within 10 feet of them.

In The Zone
Apr 13th, 2008, 07:05 PM
Jill Craybas is the prime example of the best player on tour. She is so sweet and so :hearts:

And yes. Just don't bother them before a match. You can talk but they'll sign and take photographs after.

Silvio Dante
Apr 13th, 2008, 08:42 PM
The two friendliest players I met are…in random order…Martina Hingis & Elena Dementieva

Favourable mentions to Venus and Martina Navratilova when she got older

I will tell you this story of one time I went to get a autograph of a player I liked…I asked her politely and she just blanked me…I thought she didn’t hear me so I asked her again…nothing…no eye contact no answer..nothing…I was like in shock
No way…she wouldn’t do this I thought…then I felt embarrassed but decided to ask her again…still no acknowledgement…so I walked off…I turned around she was still standing there…I actually felt a bit sick in my stomach

And I see many times that players just ignore people and they’re rude too…I know for many of them it’s just work…but if visitors came around where I work and I behaved like this…my boss would report me and I possibly get fired

tiptop
Apr 13th, 2008, 09:46 PM
From visiting quite a few tournaments over the years I must say that some fans seem to get a bit overwhelmed by the situation and maybe react a bit oversensitive ( of course very understable if you see such "stars" in person for the first time in your life). However, at the end of the day these people are doing their job and while some of them probably should be nicer towards their fans they are also just human - some are nice and some aren't. You should never forget while for you the situation may be extraordinary for them it's just a daily routine - and while you will maybe have special feelings for them they probably won't have the same for you. I don't wanna sound harsh or anything, but just think people shouldn't get too disapointed. And as there are some very nice people in life, there also some very nice players on the tour.

Silvio Dante
Apr 13th, 2008, 09:52 PM
But there’s a difference between being informal and being insensitive and rude….I can handle it but it’s most upsetting for the younger more impressionable fans….good manners doesn’t cost a dime…I was brought up to be civil with people….I’m thinking that too many are spoiled with the trappings of success and wealth and think their above Joe Public….you see it every time…when a player wins she can’t wait to sign autographs and alike but if she loses…she stomps off in a huff…you see it happening 90% of the time now...it's possibly just a sign of the times

rocksania
Apr 14th, 2008, 05:19 AM
Watever the players are,its simply bcoz of we fans and without the support from fans a player cant get whatever they got till nw.Money is something wich comes by doing many things but its Fame which is not easy to get and its something wta players do get,for they have infinite fans cheering them on.
If they feel like ignoring them,i dont see many fans queing to watch the stars play as they get mature,wen the fans are immature all take it sportingly but as one grows they realise that ignorers shall be ignored and vice-versa.

I actually do knw that players like Sania,Hingis,kirilenko who love their fans a lot,pose wid them and sign autographs.

ninanina19
Apr 14th, 2008, 06:34 AM
Give the players a break. During a tournament, players train for a good two hours on court, one hour off court, they often have to do meet and greets with the media, corporate sponsors, all while trying to prepare for upcoming matches and enjoy the city that they are visiting.

How often after a tirelessly long workout in the heat, would you feel like taking pictures, signing autographs, and talking to people for an additional 10 minutes, when you just want to shower, rest, and recouperate?

The players are where they are because of their skills. Not because they befriend the fans. Not because they smile at the cameras. Not because they sign yellow balls.

Good post. I agree. Is it that big of a deal if they don't sign an autograph?

darrinbaker00
Apr 14th, 2008, 06:45 AM
Give the players a break. During a tournament, players train for a good two hours on court, one hour off court, they often have to do meet and greets with the media, corporate sponsors, all while trying to prepare for upcoming matches and enjoy the city that they are visiting.

How often after a tirelessly long workout in the heat, would you feel like taking pictures, signing autographs, and talking to people for an additional 10 minutes, when you just want to shower, rest, and recouperate?

The players are where they are because of their skills. Not because they befriend the fans. Not because they smile at the cameras. Not because they sign yellow balls.
If not for the fans supporting the WTA Tour, the players would have to work for a living. They sooner they (and you) realize that what they do is a privilege and not a right, the better off they (and you) will be.

Shooter
Apr 14th, 2008, 07:27 AM
If not for the fans supporting the WTA Tour, the players would have to work for a living. They sooner they (and you) realize that what they do is a privilege and not a right, the better off they (and you) will be.I don't understand why people want autographs. But, since they do, I think the players could be nicer about it. One thing I see happening quite often is fans gathering at the exit of a court after a match or practice, then being stiffed when the player finds another way to exit the court. Agree with others who said that Schnyder and Daniilidou are nice to their fans.

DutchieGirl
Apr 14th, 2008, 12:21 PM
I've found most players to be really nice towards fans actually. Players who have been nice to me: Krajicek (duh), Schnyder (you may think she's a nutter, but she IS nice to her fans), UHLIROVA - she is REALLY nice to everyone! She's such a sweet person! Most of the Dutch players are really nice most of the time. Benesova was nice last year in Hobart - well polite at least. Szavay was OK to me when I saw her, but that can also be coz Misa was also there - because a Dutch friend of mine has had mixed response from her. Mirza seems like a very friendly girl - up for a chat (I have spoken to her two years in a row in Hobart - this year she was asking about the cricket scores :devil: too bad India were losing).

But I think the players are mostly OK most of the time. You can't expect every player to have a good day 100% of the time. Sometimes they don't feel like signing or whatever, but there are some who have a name for not being nice too. :devil:

DutchieGirl
Apr 14th, 2008, 12:25 PM
The lower ranked players will sign or take a photo for sure. They're happy someone knows them. :lol:

:lol: Mostly true. ;)

Sammy 4 eva!!!
Apr 14th, 2008, 12:25 PM
I have been to the AO and Goldy twice and most of the players were very kind.

The nicest were Tammy, Sammy, Vaidisova and Jankovic.

They were so friendly!!

Sammy 4 eva!!!
Apr 14th, 2008, 12:26 PM
Tammy was an absoulte joy! She had just lost to Bammer but talked to her fans for minutes and took photos and gave them towels... Class Act :hearts:

AaronJoyB
Apr 14th, 2008, 12:27 PM
Honesty...after many years in Rome and Palermo and Indian Wells...the only one I can say its not friendly is Schiavone

Pdm1987
Apr 14th, 2008, 12:39 PM
I've found that the lower ranked players tend to be the nicest as they as more appreciative of the support, and the suprise of someone actually knowing who they are ;)

Someone said Navratilova, but when i saw her she was extremely rude, like she was above everyone. That was at the time she was playing doubles with Molik, who was the complete opposite.

A few players who were nice were Magui Serna, Elena Baltacha, Sarah Borwell, Kelly Liggan, Karen Paterson, Ai Sugiyama. Even Conchita seemed alright when I saw her at wimbledon.

DutchieGirl
Apr 14th, 2008, 12:47 PM
I've found that the lower ranked players tend to be the nicest as they as more appreciative of the support, and the suprise of someone actually knowing who they are ;)

Someone said Navratilova, but when i saw her she was extremely rude, like she was above everyone. That was at the time she was playing doubles with Molik, who was the complete opposite.

A few players who were nice were Magui Serna, Elena Baltacha, Sarah Borwell, Kelly Liggan, Karen Paterson, Ai Sugiyama. Even Conchita seemed alright when I saw her at wimbledon.

Actually, I saw Nav being a bitch to a deaf girl (no, not Dani) at Rosmalen a couple of years ago! :help:

Zamboni
Apr 14th, 2008, 01:15 PM
Actually, I saw Nav being a bitch to a deaf girl (no, not Dani) at Rosmalen a couple of years ago! :help:
she has a reputation, hasn't she?


Most of the players I talked to were nice to me, but they were mostly short talks anyway.
When you notice a player isn't really in the mood, it's better to just get a pic or autograph, or quickly wish them good luck, than to try and talk to them. I experienced that a couple of times, and as long as you're quick they will stay nice :)


Much also depends on when and where you approach a player. Like said before, right before a match is just bad timing, also when they're trying to get away from a court because there's a rain break, they might not feel like taking pictures with people for 5 minutes.
And when they know that the moment they stand still for a second they're gonna be haunted by dozens of fans (like happens to a lot of players n their home country), they might not take as much time for you as when not everyone around is interested in them.


Nicest player I've met is definitely Tax Garbin. She is crazy with her fans.

DutchieGirl
Apr 15th, 2008, 01:07 AM
she has a reputation, hasn't she?

Most of the players I talked to were nice to me, but they were mostly short talks anyway.
When you notice a player isn't really in the mood, it's better to just get a pic or autograph, or quickly wish them good luck, than to try and talk to them. I experienced that a couple of times, and as long as you're quick they will stay nice :)


Much also depends on when and where you approach a player. Like said before, right before a match is just bad timing, also when they're trying to get away from a court because there's a rain break, they might not feel like taking pictures with people for 5 minutes.
And when they know that the moment they stand still for a second they're gonna be haunted by dozens of fans (like happens to a lot of players n their home country), they might not take as much time for you as when not everyone around is interested in them.


Nicest player I've met is definitely Tax Garbin. She is crazy with her fans.
Yep, Nav has a bit of a bad reputation with fans. Which is a shame given the player she was.

Yeah, it seems that some people don't know how to pick the right time to talk to players. Some people think that there are no off limits times when you should just leave a player alone. They are people too - they need breaks sometimes. How would we like it if people kept coming up to us every 2 mins asking for an autograph or a picture and wanting to talk for 10 mins? I'm sure most people would be sick of it pretty quickly. I understand that the players are where they are today partly coz of the fans, but come on - they deserve a break too. ;)

416_Man
Apr 15th, 2008, 01:15 AM
If not for the fans supporting the WTA Tour, the players would have to work for a living. They sooner they (and you) realize that what they do is a privilege and not a right, the better off they (and you) will be.

Sadly no. Hockey players are highly inaccessible and yet the NHL is booming. Basketball players leave the games within seconds of the match ending and autograph hunters are stuck without a signature. Many of the top golfers do not waste their time with fans because they realize they have other responsibilities to fullfill for the tournament.

Tennis players are there for their tennis. Yes, it would be good for them to say hi, but at the end of the day, the show they present is FAR more important that the smiles and giggles to autograph hunters after the match. And, to me, friendly is saying hi and signing maybe 2 or 3 autographs. NOT signing 400 autographs, posing in 20 pictures, and then talking for 20 minutes after a 2 hour long practise. That's simply foolish.

AJZ.
Apr 15th, 2008, 03:38 AM
The nicest player on the tour is definitely Ai. She'll sign and take pictures with anyone with guts to ask :)
I agree with what people said about lower-ranked players, though. And doubles players (specialists) are the nicest with fans most of the time.

ATP players are really nice too. Max Mirnyi signed more autographs than Karlovic even though Mirnyi lost and Karlovic won. A lot of them will take pictures with you if you just ask at the right times. At least, in my experience this is true :)

But it's not insulting if they say no. It's their right and that's alright!

njnetswill
Apr 15th, 2008, 03:38 AM
Hingis was kind of bitchy towards me last summer. Maybe she was high on crack? :confused: :shrug:

I persuaded her to take a picture with me though. :p

Patty was very nice, and I even got to chat with Rainer Hoffman. :haha:

DutchieGirl
Apr 15th, 2008, 06:51 AM
Patty was very nice, and I even got to chat with Rainer Hoffman. :haha:
But the question is - why would you want to? :p

mandy7
Apr 15th, 2008, 07:18 AM
Rainer is weeeeeeeeird, i heard him bragging to a friend about being in one of the most watched vids on eurosport after he kicked Hantuchova's waterbottles all over the court!

DutchieGirl
Apr 15th, 2008, 07:26 AM
You are weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeird for posting that 3 times. :angel:

mandy7
Apr 15th, 2008, 07:28 AM
You are weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeird for posting that 3 times. :angel:
at least i deleted 2 of them
anyhow, the forum messed up, not me

DutchieGirl
Apr 15th, 2008, 07:30 AM
at least i deleted 2 of them
anyhow, the forum messed up, not me
Yah - the forum's being screwy for me too.

adam_ads_n
Apr 15th, 2008, 08:20 AM
Some are, some are not. My personal expierience (positive) is with Marta D., Elena Dementieva, Danka Hantuchova, Misa (she was so funny when I took a picture of her and my friends),
Jelena Janković, Sveta Kuznetsova (both are so crazy :D). Elena Likhovtseva was also nice, as she agreed to take a picture with my friends while...carrying the paper box with her things. Alona Bondarenko was superb to meet, also Jarmila Gajdosova (she gave me her towel), and polish double players Klaudia Jans and Alicja Rosolska were magnificent.

Navratilova was rude to people watching her training in Warsaw 2 years ago. She chased people with her racket, was agressive. Also Agnieszka Radwanska wasn't kind when she lost a match to Alona Bondarenko in Warsaw, last year.

pigmalion
Apr 15th, 2008, 08:43 AM
Honesty...after many years in Rome and Palermo and Indian Wells...the only one I can say its not friendly is Schiavone

that's weird because Fran is the nicest player I met :shrug:

Natalicious
Apr 15th, 2008, 10:24 AM
when i met ana ivanovic in 06 she was superb nice, tho she wasnt that famous back then ;)
nadia petrova was so sweet, we talked with her for a short while and made some jokes :D
she signed my sis and me about 6 things :lol:

tamira paszek was the cutest player i've met so far :hearts:
probably because we have the same native-language, she talked to me like we know each other since years and she was superb friendly with all fans (took time to make pics with loads of lil kids :D )

Helen Lawson
Apr 15th, 2008, 03:14 PM
You have to know when the ask. I've seen people storm a player after a bad loss and then don't understand when the players just wants to be left alone. Jen lost a match at Charleston, it was after she'd been off with an injury, it was to Kuti-Kis maybe, anyway, she comes down the inner tunnel out back to get into the golf cart and people are yelling and screaming for her to sign, but she looked like she was going to cry and left without signing and people are like calling her nasty, rotten, spoiled. I saw some kids swarm Venus after a practice right before another Charelston final and she blew them all off, but it was right before a match.
The nicest ones I've observed are Daniela, Dementieva, Cry-Baby, Jill Craybas, Patty, Virginia RP, and Amelie and Mary Pierce are nice if you wait until the time is right, and Conchita was fine with me and a few groups I saw approach her.

That being said, some unnamed could take a page from the Joan Crawford book of dealing with fans. Fans always got autographs, photos, anything they wanted, no matter how much time it took. And a fan letter was always personally replied to. As far from fact as Mommie Dearest the movie was, they did peg it right when Faye Dunaway barked, "My fans are life and death to me, baby! They're the ones who really make me!"

Juan
Apr 15th, 2008, 03:25 PM
Some are, some are not. My personal expierience (positive) is with Marta D., Elena Dementieva, Danka Hantuchova, Misa (she was so funny when I took a picture of her and my friends),
Jelena Janković, Sveta Kuznetsova (both are so crazy :D). Elena Likhovtseva was also nice, as she agreed to take a picture with my friends while...carrying the paper box with her things. Alona Bondarenko was superb to meet, also Jarmila Gajdosova (she gave me her towel), and polish double players Klaudia Jans and Alicja Rosolska were magnificent.

Navratilova was rude to people watching her training in Warsaw 2 years ago. She chased people with her racket, was agressive. Also Agnieszka Radwanska wasn't kind when she lost a match to Alona Bondarenko in Warsaw, last year.

Alicja is sooo nice :hearts:

Spanish players are usually nice when we have asked for pics, Maria Sanchez-Lorenzo was the nicest of them, she used to greet the Spanish Armada fans when we went to an event. I also had a good impression on Safarova and Benesova last year, they agreed to take a pic even though they have lost their Fed Cup matches :yeah:

FORZA SARITA
Apr 15th, 2008, 03:28 PM
Nicest player I've met is definitely Tax Garbin. She is crazy with her fans.

i totally agree:hearts:

A_S
Apr 15th, 2008, 03:52 PM
Give the players a break. During a tournament, players train for a good two hours on court, one hour off court, they often have to do meet and greets with the media, corporate sponsors, all while trying to prepare for upcoming matches and enjoy the city that they are visiting.

How often after a tirelessly long workout in the heat, would you feel like taking pictures, signing autographs, and talking to people for an additional 10 minutes, when you just want to shower, rest, and recouperate?

The players are where they are because of their skills. Not because they befriend the fans. Not because they smile at the cameras. Not because they sign yellow balls.

maybe they need to re-asses. They should try working 8.30-5.30 and traveling an hour home 5 days a week rather having "meet and greats", "enjoying the city", sunny locations and great variety in there work place.

Its no co-incidence imho that in football (or soccer as some of you may call it) the "fans favorites" and cult hero's, the people that give the fans most are the ones who havent been manacured in acadamies or collages since the age of 12, they are often the ones that have worked stacking shelfs or on a building site before getting there big break, they know both the values of money, and hard work, and more importantly how lucky they are.... They are more willing to give something back. Its something these players who live in a sports bubble need to learn from.

Joachim1978
Apr 15th, 2008, 03:52 PM
Kim Clijsters was absolutely lovely when I met her, she laughed and joked with me and my friend, posed for photos and told us to enjoy the rest of our day. And this was after she had just lost.

Venus Williams was incredibly sweet, and very sharp.

Maria Sharapova wasn't nice or rude really, she just completely ignored every request. But she didn't say or do anything untoward.

After all these posts I really wish I could meet Schnyder and Tanasugard....