A Quick Gripe About Hype

The Yahoo! sports tennis page currently features this graphic as their big eye-catcher:

And I gotta say, as much as I’m all for promoting people’s interest in tennis, this is really stretching it. “Hopes of a nation” ? Really?

What they’re referring to here is the fact that there have never been two Swiss male tennis players in the semifinals of the US Open. Which would be cool for them, for sure, but is there any chance that anyone in Switzerland is really on tenterhooks because of this? I’m sure plenty of  Swiss people are cheering on Wawrika because he’s Swiss. But is there any chance they feel like he represents their great national hope? Do they really expect me to believe that millions of Swiss have been waiting for years to have two Swiss men in the US open semis?

Its one thing when we talk about the French wanting a frenchman to win the French open, or the Brits wanting a Brit to win Wimbledon. But there’s no home town connection here. Plus, the “achievement” in question is a little oddly specific, don’t you think? There haven’t been two australian men in the quarters of the French in a long time either. So, do you think Crocodile Dundee is desperately pressuring Chris Guccione to join Lleyton Hewitt there one of these days?

And to top it all off, don’t you suppose that the Swiss have enough reasons to feel proud of tennis players from their country? I sure feel like they do. They will probably live if Wawrinka, who’s already upset Andy Murray and set a personal best for his performance at Flushing Meadows, doesn’t make it past the quarters. And if I haven’t yet convinced you that whoever wrote the headline is trying too hard to hype this, go to the Yahoo! page, click through to the article, and notice the article doesn’t say anything about the question, it just recaps Wawrinka’s performance at the tournament so far.

Okay, that’s enough pointless opinion from me for the evening. On the other hand, if you haven’t been watching this match featuring the Hope Of A Nation, then you are missing some really great stuff. At the time of this writing, its 2-all in the fifth set, with Wawrinka just finally having clawed a service break back from Youzhny, who broke him in the opening game of the set.

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About Colin West
Colin West is a graduate student in quantum information theory, working at the Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics at Stony Brook University. Originally from Colorado (where he attended college), his interests outside of physics include politics, paper-folding, puzzles, playing-cards, and apparently, plosives.

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