ESPN Announcer Says Tennis Needs Bigger Personalities In U.S.
ESPN’s Chris Fowler believes the game of tennis needs "something to move the needle," whether it is players like Nick Kyrgios "acting out or whatever other personality on the court that comes through the screen and engages people." Fowler, speaking on the "SI Media Podcast," noted interest in tennis from American fans has "been pretty lacking" lately and the game needs big personalities to "spark a renaissance" of the sport in the U.S. Tennis is "so massively popular globally," but the "lack of U.S. men’s players has really, really hurt" its popularity domestically. Players like Kyrgios "understand that it’s a show, which bothers a lot of purists," but more athletes of his generation in various sports "understand instinctively, innately, it is a show and that they are showmen." Athletes are "competing to win, but in order to expand your brand and move the needle, you have to also put on a show." That is "what people are paying for" (“SI Media Podcast,” SI.com, 8/20).