There are grand slams and ATP Masters Events. There’s the World Series, Stanley Cup, Super Bowl and NBA Championship.
It’s just too much for Americans to take in. The major titles for hockey, baseball, football and basketball are all held on American soil, in much more popular sports than tennis. It is no wonder that Americans cannot sustain interest in a tournament that is spread over several months in a variety of countries. To make matters worse, even the Davis Cup is not prepared to announce when the finals between Argentina and Spain will take place.
Americans are spoiled. When they aren’t the best at something, they will either try as hard as they can to get better at it or give up entirely and pretend it doesn’t exist.
Tennis is one of the sports America has kind of given up on. If there is even a shade of potential for an American player, the media makes a huge deal out of it.
Then, when that American has to perform in the next tournament, an early-round exit is usually the case.
The Davis Cup is one of the best events to watch, but Americans just don’t care. Here are the reasons why.
Average tennis fans watch only the grand slams. And truthfully, a player’s legacy is measured by his grand slam victories, nothing else.
Usually the quick and easy way is the best solution. This can be tracked to almost all sports except the tennis Davis Cup. The Super Bowl is one game, and almost every other major sporting event has a best-of-seven series that doesn’t last for more than two weeks.
The Davis Cup is spread out over a long period of time because grand slams get in the way of scheduling. The tournament should be held for one month with no other events scheduled.
The last time the United States won the Davis Cup was 2007. Since then, the Americans haven’t fared well, and the future doesn’t look too bright.
Mardy Fish and Andy Roddick are aging, Ryan Harrison hasn’t proven himself yet and Donald Young has only a few solid appearances in his career.
Fans tend to lose interest when their country fails to succeed on a regular basis. The United States team has proved to be disappointing for too many years.
Spain makes every other country look bad. It has won the Davis Cup two of the last three years, and Spain is in the finals again this year.
Sometimes stars, not the actual matches, attract viewers. Tennis doesn’t really have a spokesman for the game, especially not an American.
Andy Roddick complains too much, and Mardy Fish is not much of a talker. Rafael Nadal is not comfortable in front of the media either.
If tennis players could add some flair, more people would tune in.
A lot of big name players don’t even play in some rounds because of scheduling conflicts and because they feel compelled to rest up for grand slams. For example, Rafael Nadal didn’t play against the United States this year, but Spain still won.
The bottom line is the Davis Cup doesn’t mean as much to players as grand slams. The money they receive is minuscule, and in this day and age money is all that matters.
It is very hard to form a rivalry in tennis because careers are usually so short, and there are really only a handful of consistent players. The rivalries that do exist are between individuals and are in no way based on nationality. Roger Federer is a rival, but Switzerland does not pose a threat for many other countries.
Spain has been the model of consistency, but no other country really compares. If two countries were loaded with great players, it would make the Davis Cup more interesting.