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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 05:31 PM   #16
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Re: The media coverage of fan bias gives me even more respect for Serena

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Originally Posted by Olórin View Post
Serena has always had decent crowd support at the AO, even before she was a champion. Certainly more than I've noticed in their support for Vika, as defending champion. But of course the whole thing has been blown out of proportion. The crowd as a whole did not by any means "hate" Azarenka.
Not always

Receipt.

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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 05:36 PM   #17
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Re: The media coverage of fan bias gives me even more respect for Serena

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Originally Posted by jrollaneres25 View Post
Before I make my two statements I want to say that I agree with you in part.

1. If you watch United States coverage(ESPN, TTC, NBC, CBS) then your claim is pretty accurate, with the exceptions of several matches that the commentators just could not deny/ignore(2003 French Open, 2003 Australian Open etc.). Chris Fowler being the leader of those comments as he is a bit bias towards the girls(oops Serena)

2. As parenthetic above, Venus plays a huge role in that development. BOTH have been booed, jeered and rooted against for most of their careers. Tennis has never had characters like the Williams Sisters with their Dad making bold and in some eyes condescending and disrespectful predictions and statements.

Eurosport has always mentioned the unfairness of the crowds at these events. This is why I prefer to listen to their commentary rather than the Americans, who have a nasty history of racial inequality.
Good post.


To be clear, my comments regarding the media are based on USA coverage. I am not familiar with Eurosport. If Eurosport is willing to cover the extraordinary crowd bias Serena faces in her matches, then credit goes to them.



In the USA, the media largely ignores the topic. They will "dance around the giant pink elephant in the room" all night long before they bring it up. In fact they ignore it so often, as you watch a Serena match their silence almost becomes a distraction. You almost wonder, "Don't they hear what's going on with the crowd?" This is true especially at the US Open. For the media here, it's a taboo subject they dare not report.



This is why its even more shocking that crowd bias was such a huge part of the coverage for the AO Tennis final today. What ESPN was reporting today could have been reported (10 times over) at just about every major involving Serena over the last 10 years. Apparently the USA media wear ear plugs when Serena plays.
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 07:54 PM   #18
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Re: The media coverage of fan bias gives me even more respect for Serena

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In the past Serena faced a lot of adversity but I think now she's just a well-respected champion of the sport A lot of people cheer for her and love to watch her play, even non-fans can usually appreciate her great tennis. Obviously crowds are going to give her opponents a lot of support because her opponents are (almost always) pretty big underdogs against Serena.
This.

Serena is only jeered in Paris. She is well received everywhere else. And when they "cheer" for the other person, it's only to see a good match or see Serena tested.
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 08:09 PM   #19
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Re: The media coverage of fan bias gives me even more respect for Serena

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Not always

Receipt.

Incredibly misleading "receipt."

That was AUSSIE Kim. She was engaged to Hewitt at that point, you know, the #1 player in the world who had already won the US Open at that point?
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 08:29 PM   #20
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Re: The media coverage of fan bias gives me even more respect for Serena

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Incredibly misleading "receipt."

That was AUSSIE Kim. She was engaged to Hewitt at that point, you know, the #1 player in the world who had already won the US Open at that point?
Stop the excuse. Venus was also booed in Antwerp for beating Kim after that. In fact I remembered 2 Belgian radio DJs being fired for instigating on air hatred against the Williams and another for calling them monkeys. It was discussed here then.

http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=54412
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 08:32 PM   #21
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Re: The media coverage of fan bias gives me even more respect for Serena

yeah it must be quite disheartening for serena, her dominance is so frequently spun as something negative to attack the womens tennis as being weak and farcical

its almost as though everyone wants her to lose. Fans in general want a competitive match, but I never remembered federer being given the same silent treatment whenever he wins a point back in his heydays of 04-07
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 08:42 PM   #22
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Re: The media coverage of fan bias gives me even more respect for Serena

Hatred for Azarenka is new though. The Williams sisters have always been hated since day 1 really. They've had to have thick skin. If you remember during Venus' US Open match last year the crowd was actually cheering for her and you could see her get emotional about it. The commentators picked up on it. Venus and Serena have always been us against the world for a reason. They always get rooted against. Even their short stint in the juniors. At one point you just get use to it not to take anything away from Serena "over coming it" its more than likely just background noise to her at this point.

Azarenka felt that this tournament.
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 08:47 PM   #23
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Re: The media coverage of fan bias gives me even more respect for Serena

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Originally Posted by T-rex View Post

This is why its even more shocking that crowd bias was such a huge part of the coverage for the AO Tennis final today. What ESPN was reporting today could have been reported (10 times over) at just about every major involving Serena over the last 10 years. Apparently the USA media wear ear plugs when Serena plays.
Part of this is because the US tennis media has strong ties to the USTA. This is a gross conflict of interest and shouldn't be allowed, but it is. As a result, the American media is much kinder to players who come up through the USTA (e.g., Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys and even Sharapova) and don't give the benefit of the doubt to players like Venus and Serena, who didn't rise through the USTA ranks.

That's also why the American media (which is part of the tennis establishment) has never been welcoming to the sisters. The USTA/pundits/media complex is miffed because Richard Williams (such as he is) was able to raise two great tennis champions and the USTA has been largely unable to do so, especially in the past decade. They are dying for Stephens or Keys to dethrone Serena so that the USTA can be the center of US tennis again.

Hate to break it to them, but it seems Serena plans to play for awhile. Hope she keeps winning.
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 08:50 PM   #24
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Re: The media coverage of fan bias gives me even more respect for Serena

I never cared about Serena but honestly I can see how hard it'd have been for her to keep her focus and win against all odds. But her father was a major big mouth and quite the reason manytimes, but cant blame him for being proud of his talented daughters and mostly he was right too.
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 09:23 PM   #25
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Re: The media coverage of fan bias gives me even more respect for Serena

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Originally Posted by T-rex View Post
That is just factually false. Roger Federer has never faced crowds with the vitriol that Serena has.

Team sports yes. But comparing team sports to individual sports is an "apples to oranges" comparison.

Maria, Vika and Caro do not routinely face crowds against them the way Serena does. You have to be really dishonest to believe that.
You have too many generalizations whilst making your points ..."they are hated" ..."pple hate them" ...I mean who? From my understanding you mean the media was inciting hatred against the WS, right? plus the real few haters outthere we know little of their #s.

If so, how do you explain this? At one point Derek Jeter, Serena, & Roddick were the most popular athletes in the US 4 seven str8 yrs.
http://www.tennisguru.net/2011/07/se...straight-year/
Better come up with a good answer, don't waste our time

Last edited by ZeroSumGame : Jan 26th, 2013 at 09:27 PM. Reason: additional info
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 10:26 PM   #26
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Re: The media coverage of fan bias gives me even more respect for Serena

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Originally Posted by ZeroSumGame View Post
You have too many generalizations whilst making your points ..."they are hated" ..."pple hate them" ...I mean who? From my understanding you mean the media was inciting hatred against the WS, right? plus the real few haters outthere we know little of their #s.

If so, how do you explain this? At one point Derek Jeter, Serena, & Roddick were the most popular athletes in the US 4 seven str8 yrs.
http://www.tennisguru.net/2011/07/se...straight-year/
Better come up with a good answer, don't waste our time

First to your most important point. I have written about this at length on this board. There are 2 different audiences.

There is:

#1 the general sports audience. And #2 the hardcore WTA audience.

The hardcore WTA audience is the group most likely to purchase tickets to events, take part in message board discussions, follow the players around.... etc, etc.

The general sports audience is made up of casual fans. These are people who will watch the big tournaments and most likely only know of a few players.

To the general sports audience, Serena is a major star. She has a tremendous following and a very high Q-rating. This is why when she plays, her matches draw the highest TV ratings. This is why she is the most important star to the WTA. And she is the highest revenue generator for her sport. This group represents a large, broad spectrum of fans. These are the fans that give her high approval ratings when sports surveys are done like the one you cited in your post.

The hardcore WTA audience is very different. There is far more disdain for her. Among some hardcore WTA fans, Serena is not nearly as popular as she is with the general population. There is a great deal of bias. Of course, hardcore WTA fans are far more likely to purchase tickets, thus Serena support dwindles considerably during a match compared to what it is in the general population.

This is why for instance, when Serena is playing the US Open, her matches by far draw the largest TV audiences. But at the exact same time the crowd in the stands is largely against her.


This is a fascinating social quandry that has issues of gender, race, nationality, beauty etc. all rolled into one. There is perhaps no athlete on earth among the major sports that has a greater discrepancy between what hardcore fans think of them and the general population at large.



Example: If I posted on this message board that Serena is the GOAT. A flame war ensues. If go down to my local mall and state Serena is the GOAT, there are no arguments. Almost everyone would rightly overwhelmingly agree. Even many TV journalists and tennis sports historians largely agree with this. But there is still push-back from the hardcore base. Why Serena historically has such a difficult time with the hardcore WTA fans is an amazing dynamic.


There is not a big difference of fan support between the general population and the hardcore ATP fans when it comes to Roger Federer.


I remember being on this board last summer and there was a prominent poster here that actually argued endlessly that Caroline Wozniaki was a bigger draw and more important to the WTA than Serena Williams. I couldn't believe it! It is downright baffling trying to understand the views of some hardcore WTA fans, compared to the world in general. They truly do live in a different reality.



As for your other point. You are just wrong. Nowhere in this thread did I say the media was inciting hatred against the WS. I have no idea where that entire thought process came from.

Last edited by T-rex : Jan 26th, 2013 at 10:35 PM.
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 10:29 PM   #27
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Re: The media coverage of fan bias gives me even more respect for Serena

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Originally Posted by Tennisstar86 View Post
Hatred for Azarenka is new though. The Williams sisters have always been hated since day 1 really. They've had to have thick skin. If you remember during Venus' US Open match last year the crowd was actually cheering for her and you could see her get emotional about it. The commentators picked up on it. Venus and Serena have always been us against the world for a reason. They always get rooted against. Even their short stint in the juniors. At one point you just get use to it not to take anything away from Serena "over coming it" its more than likely just background noise to her at this point.

Azarenka felt that this tournament.

Excellent post. I agree. Most truly objective people would too.


The crowd was actually supporting a Williams sister. Venus was so shocked, she was taken back by emotion. What more do you need on this subject?
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 10:30 PM   #28
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Re: The media coverage of fan bias gives me even more respect for Serena

It 's true serena is often criticized by the media
and so they do now with azarenka.
Glad both are great champions to shut the media's mouth with their results.
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 10:32 PM   #29
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Re: The media coverage of fan bias gives me even more respect for Serena

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Originally Posted by End da Game View Post
yeah it must be quite disheartening for serena, her dominance is so frequently spun as something negative to attack the womens tennis as being weak and farcical

its almost as though everyone wants her to lose. Fans in general want a competitive match, but I never remembered federer being given the same silent treatment whenever he wins a point back in his heydays of 04-07

Not even John McEnroe with all of his antics ever had to deal with the crowd issues Serena has faced in her career.

Your Roger Federer point needs to be expanded on. Federer dominated the ATP for years. But the crowd never pulled for his opponent based on his "underdog status" the way they do when Serena plays.
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 10:33 PM   #30
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Re: The media coverage of fan bias gives me even more respect for Serena

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Originally Posted by VIKANADAL01 View Post
It 's true serena is often criticized by the media
and so they do now with azarenka.
Glad both are great champions to shut the media's mouth with their results.

Agreed. And there is a part of me that is not sad at all Vika won!
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