Why is everyone talking about Nadal vs Federer and not Hamilton vs Raikkonen?

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Lewis Hamilton won his home Grand Prix for the first time yesterday. You might have noticed.

But while the British media often get criticised (with some justification) for the hype they lavish on Hamilton, another sports story knocked him off the front page in many newspapers.

So why did the Roger Federer and Rafael Nadar tennis final at Wimbledon relegate home hero Hamilton in the sports pages?

It’s not just in the newspapers – my daily routine brought me into contact with many people who had something to say about the tennis and not much about F1. It might seem strange to foreigners that British people were discussing the fortunes of a Spaniard and a Swiss more avidly than a British sportsman triumphing at home.

So why is this?

From a journalistic point of view I think the fact the tennis finished several hours later than the British Grand Prix has a lot to do with it. News travels faster than ever in the internet age, and editors want the freshest content on the outside pages, which do the job of selling the newspaper.

Perhaps Nadal and Federer are particularly interesting personalities. I don’t know because I’m not interested in tennis.

Also I do think sports enthusiasts often have a snobbery about motor racing. Because the car plays such a large part in an individual’s performance – especially in F1 – some consider it not a sport at all.

The over-complexity of modern F1 rules have made this worse. Qualifying used to be about who could do the fastest individual lap – now it’s about the delicate balance between fuel strategy and one-lap performance. And as we don’t know a driver’s fuel load when he qualifies, no-one really knows what’s gone on until the race has finished.

Races are made more confusing by complex and uninteresting refuelling strategies. Teams going to great lengths to keep thier rivals (and consequently the fans) in the dark about what they’re doing.

These are all obstacles that prevent F1 from being accessible to ordinary sports fans. We can point at the sheer power of a Federer serve – which hit 129mph yesterday – with ease. Yet even those of us who follow F1 with a passion can’t say for sure if Lewis Hamilton’s win yesterday was down to incredible skill, or a set-up geared towards wet weather, or somewhere between the two.

Has Formula 1 become too opaque?

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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52 comments on “Why is everyone talking about Nadal vs Federer and not Hamilton vs Raikkonen?”

  1. I read the mail and it was Hamilton on the back page and small Wimbledon bit on the front.

    To be fair it was the best game of Tennis I have ever seen in my entire life.

  2. I think its because it will be considered the greatest tennis game of all time to be honest Keith.

    Maybe if it was Hamilton being world champion it would better it

  3. There was no gr8 battle in F1….there is probably still 5 drivers who can win the title, maybe more…therefore no Hamilton V Raikkonen

    He won a race not a championship…..stay calm

    The tennis was all about the big 2…..which might be the equivalent of a battle between Schumacher v Hamilton

  4. ogami musashi
    7th July 2008, 21:39

    keith, two points:


    this is YOUR vision of F1. Not everybody finds fuel strategies and qualifying format boring.

    Not everbody wants F1 to go back to what it used to be whatever the era you find it was the best.

    I love the qualifying format of now and the recent races have been decent imho.

    2/ has F1 became too opaque?

    F1 is a complex sport, but no sport at high level is simple, not even tennis.

    Football fans, Tennis fans, motorsports fans, all the same. You have the one that judge teams/sportsmen by their result without knowing the game and the one that are more into it.

    Just look at the number of fan clubs forums and site on the internet about F1, there’s no problem at all for people to be entertained.

    Maybe motorsport are more complex (and F1 especially) but that’s not so different from other sports, do you really believe you can say “nadal has a better tennis than federer” just because he won??

  5. I’m not saying the tennis was bad or anything, I have no idea, I didn’t watch it at all (although I do work in Wimbledon!)

  6. I agree – this was the Wimbledon final, games throughout the week (other than when Brits were involved anyway) did not get so much front page coverage.

    The climax to the F1 season will hopefully get the same attention – depending on the outcome!

  7. It was like Scheuy Vs Mika at Interlagos (last g.p) with just 10 laps to go and who ever wins the race wins the championship, but spanning for more than 5 hours.. The best tennis game I’ve ever seen (after Lendel, Becker, Edberg era, of course)

  8. Nico Savidge
    7th July 2008, 21:52

    I’d say it was a difference in excitement. The Wimbledon final was called one of the greatest tennis matches ever – no such praise can be given to the British GP. Sure, if Raikkonen and Hamilton were dueling like Villeneuve and Arnoux on Sunday afternoon, people might have cared more. But the fact is, Wimbledon was an amazing match, and it blew F1 out of the water.

  9. Keith, for me the difference is that Nadal x Federer final yesterday made history, for several reasons:

    Nadal is the first man to win Roland Garros and Wimbledon on the same year since Borg in 1980 (while the last british driver to win at home did it in 2000)

    Nadal and Federer made their six Grand Slam Final, making them the greatest tennis rivalry in Tennis History, or at least in the Open Era (from 1968 on), while Hamilton, Raikkonen, Massa, Alonso or Kubica are still very far from being remembered for the greatest Formula 1 rivalry, like Senna and Prost.

    Federer was frustraded in his attempt to become the first player to win at Wimbledon six times in a row since 1886…

    So, the numbers involved in Wimbledon were much more important than those in Silverstone, even if the events themselves(I’m both a huge Formula 1 and tennis fan) was as exciting as the other…

    Because of that, I don’t think it’s a reflex of a supposed loss of interest in Formula 1.

    Quite simply, the 2008 Wimbledon Final was much more relevant to tennis history than the 2008 British Grand Prix was to Formula 1 history…

  10. I think there would have been a bit more coverage if Ferrari hadn’t got their weather predictions so completely wrong. Hamilton cruised home, Nadal fought like a lion. If Kimi had put on fresh inters there would have been a lot more action at the front than there was.

  11. More people follow the Wimbledon final than the British Grand Prix. Like a lot of people have said, the tennis match was more significant than the F1 race in statistical and general quality of play terms. Besides, F1 has many more major events than tennis – Hamilton could always win another race where there isn’t a clashing major sporting event.

  12. Maybe it is just the fact that one of the events was the final match of the only major grass court tennis tournament which happens only once a year, whereas the other was just another of the dozen-and-a-half Grands Prix that happen every year. The tennis would have undoubtedly been the bigger story even if it was the most boring match ever. Even though I don’t like tennis that much, I can appreciate that it was definitely the bigger event.

  13. “(Hamilton) won a race, not a championship…..stay calm”
    Thank you KB.

  14. Greg Beckett
    7th July 2008, 22:26

    Firstly I always read your website, hardly ever comment, but there’s always an array of brilliant articles, so keep up the good work.

    However I think you’ve missed the point here. This was the pinnacle of tennis, two of the great modern players, the best by far playing now, duelling it out for what many consider the most prestigous competition. It was an absolute epic too, the rivalry between the pair is so compelling especially as there’s such a balance of power in the sport. 10, 20, even 30 years down the line, they’ll still be talking about this final and the similar one last year. It was a big win for Hamilton, but in even three-four years, the most that’ll be said about this race will be 1) his first British win and 2) as a reference to his rain driving skills. That’s where the difference lies for me really.

  15. Maybe I’ve written this post badly or something but I think the point is being missed. The title is a literal question – I’m not trying to do tennis down or anything like that. I was wondering whether people generally find F1 harder to understand than tennis.

    And I don’t understand the “stay calm” comment.

  16. I heard comments on US radio that the tennis was a bit overhyped, but then again, the US didn’t think tennis was that great while Sampras and Agassi were in their primes. The status quo of the United States don’t really like much of anything.

    On the positive side of things, while F1 was not mentioned in the list, the same personality commented that it’s been a pretty good sports year concerning quality from a spectator’s point of view. If you figure in the Euros and F1’s three way tie, it’s been a pretty good sports year around the world.

    To really answer the question, though, “athletic” sport nudges Nascar to the back of the pages in the US all the time. Motorsport is the sort of thing where a majority of its followers by-and-large don’t like other forms of sport… like tennis.

  17. At time of writing, all the google ads at the top of this page are about tennis.

  18. To be honest I don’t think it’s that F1 is harder to understand than Tennis. If you go really deep into the game of tennis it gets very complex very quickly and the same can be said of Motorsport and most probably many other sports. I think the main reason Nadal-Federer is everywhere is because it had to be the best Tennis match I have ever seen – and that’s not just my opinion. It was an epic match, and unfortunately I don’t think the Grand Prix was quite as epic. But like somebody said above me, if Ferrari had put Kimi on new inters then this race could very well have reached those epic proportions.

  19. Keith, people find F1 harder to understand than tennis because they

    a) are more likely to have watched and participated in tennis
    b) tennis is a pretty simple game in terms of rules, while F1 is not
    c) the rules stay fundamentally the same from one year to another
    d) people can see when the rules are kept and when not in tennis, whereas in F1 it’s often a matter of conjecture if you’re not armed with a mass of statistics and replays from suitable angles.

  20. Tennis is simpler to understand.

    It was the end of perhaps the most important series (certainly to the british press).

    The papers know more people watched it and are therefore interested.

    Most importantly though: The tennis match yesterday was a better match than the F1 race was. Closer and more important – it was an historic passing of a torch momement. The equivelent of Alonso beating Schumacher. Nadal has waited a good number of years to do this on grass and has had to radically alter his game to do it.

    It was by far the more important sporting event. And that is why it is front page news. To be fair the two British events shouldn’t be on the same weekend – and won’t be from next year. And also to be fair Hamilton is at least on on of those papers.

  21. I don’t want to cause any offense, but I would see this as “women’s business”. To clarify, more men are interested in F1 than women, but tennis fans are spread much more evenly between the two sexes. Therefore more interest in the result, therefore a front and back cover spread. Imagine the pasting the papers would get if they splashed Hamilton across the front page, relegating Wimbledon to a box in the corner. The papers are just following the money thay can get from BOTH sexes.

  22. It depends on where you are. In Brazil, for example, Formula 1 is easier to understand than tennis, simply because we only had two top players until now (Maria Bueno and Gustavo Kuerten), and one of them on the late 1950s and early 1960s, so the game isn’t covered, commented or practiced so frequently down here, while motorsport, even if its harder to participate in it, is an everyday topic.

    About the complexity, yes, F1 is generaly more complicated, but in some aspects, tennis is worse, for example, the entry ranking system, compared to the World Championship standings. While every Grand Prix awards the same number of points, and the series contemplates only 20 to 30 drivers, that stops and restarts counting from zero season after season, the ATP entry ranking is a complex table where tourneaments are divided in several grades of importance (Grand Slams, Masters Cup, Masters Series, International Series Gold, International Series, Challengers, Futures) and that ranks more than 1000 players at the same time, that is never “erased to start again”, since the 1970s!

  23. I think it’s mainly because Nadal and Federer have had a strong rivalry over many years, whereas Hamilton and Raikkonen don’t really have much of a rivalry – Raikkonen doesn’t care.
    Also it was an incredible game of tennis. Maybe it’s also to do with the difference between the two sports – the Wimbledon final was constantly full of exciting, fast play, whereas the Grand Prix only featured major incidents every 10 minutes or so, despite how good it was compared to other races.

  24. Another thing is that we can see the reactions of the tennis players on court (although Federer and Nadal probably aren’t the best examples of this). Tennis has a more personal touch over F1.

  25. Keith & F1Fanatic readers:

    I read this post in my feed reader, and the knee-jerk answer that came into my head was that it isn’t is F1 too opaque?, it should be for how years has F1 been too opaque?.

    Then I came over to comment and started reading the comments. I read most up until #15 and then decided to comment further.

    I actually think it is the title that is wrong. But I do this all the time, literally all the time on my site. I start off with a goal but as I type, the target moves and I end up talking about something ever so slightly different.

    The first question Keith asks us is ‘Why are people talking about tennis and not F1?’ and the second question (as I see it, by the way) is asking if Formula One is too opaque.

    Although I think Keith was hoping to relate the two, I don’t think it has worked too well. But I humbly admit, I am not one to speak having done this just about everyday of my life.

    The answer to the first question has been answered by many above me. The answer to the second was answered by my re-interpretation of the question. :) <– That’s a big smile, by the way. And of course, I could be barking up a wrong tree as well. Done that many times…

  26. *for how many years has F1 been too opaque?*
    Yeah, ignore my spelling and shocking grammar, ’tis late in Ollie-land.

  27. Perhaps the UK has had Lewis Hamilton overkill. I am a massive F1 fan and looking forward to the BBC coverage next year more than ever because all ITV can talk about is Lewis Hamilton. It is cringe worthy to hear those morons (Allem Blundell and Brundle) taking about him, how amazing he is, what a wonderful driver he is. They are turning many fans away by the sheer bias towards him. You would swear the young kid can do no wrong.

    To compare him to Senna, Prost and even Schumacher is just ridiculous in such an early stage of his career. No wonder Lewis is feeling the pressure. His head has grown too large for his body.

    Going back to your original question as to why such little attention was given to the F1, and the achievements of Lewis Hamilton???

    Perhaps because Wimbledon has given us such fantastic entertainment and the mens final was the best ever in the history of the game, with one great advantage over F1. It was a fight to the very end by two of the greatest players in the world.

    Lewis is no where near the greatest driver in the world until he wins 7 or more world championships, and he hardly raced on Sunday, (I mean proper racing, side by side) and it definitely wasn’t the greatest British grand prix I have witnessed. (The days of Mansell, Senna and Prost or even Schumacher, Hill and Mika) would be more like it).

  28. Keith… can’t belive you wrote that xP…

    you said you’re not interested in tennis…

    It was an historic moment. Federer won 5 consecutive times at Wimbledon, the last match he lost was in 2002…

    And Nadal, the King of Clay courts, defeat him… After 5 hours and several rain delays…

    Also, F1 is lacking that special thing Football or Tennis has… Grand Slams are incredible tournaments, and the high voltage of their games is incredible…

    I watched Wimbledon’s finals… It’s an incredible feeling you have after 5 hours playing, that if you miss the ball you’ll loose all you have been constructing from 2 weeks ago…

    It’s only difficult to explain, you just have to watch and feel it…

    Wimbledon’s final yesterday was much much better than F1 best race this season (maybe)…

  29. also you can’t compare Nadal-Federer with Hamilton-Raikkonen…

    It’s so different.

    F1 lacks that… Big emotions over the race.

    I read here some people that went to Silvertone. They said the first lap was incredible, but then it was boring and they couldn’t realise what was happening…

    That’s impossible with tennis… It’s emotional from beginning to end…

    You’ll have to attend Wimbledon next year :P

  30. Tennis is a far more personal sport than F1. The average person can identify with a tennis player. Most people have held a tennis racket, maybe played a passable game. Few ever get close enough to touch an F1 car, let alone drive one. With tennis, and similarly, golf, the courtside, golf course and TV audiences live each moment of joy and anguish with the players, often for hours. One hardly ever sees a driver without his helmet on, certainly never while he’s working and under pressure.

    Which is why many more sports fans follow tennis and golf than F1. Roger Federer or Tiger Woods will always have a larger fan base, and get more column inches, than world champions like Senna, Schumacher and Alonso, never mind the non-champions like Hamilton.

    Finalists like Federer and Nadal have to win seven tough matches just to reach the Wimbledon – or any championship – final. Not at all easy. And, most important, they do it themselves, no team help during a match, no special equipment. Tennis and golf audiences understand and appreciate this. Tiger or Federer would contend with almost any current, well made equipment. No way that Hamilton would have won yesterday in a BMW, never mind a Force India. Very few F1 drivers won races with a truly inferior car – and I don’t mean races where the major contenders DNF’d. There are really only three – Tazio Nuvolari, Stirling Moss and Michael Schumacher.

    So, it’s not surprising that Wimbledon trounced Silverstone. By the way, Keith, you missed an outstanding match. Don’t miss it next year.

  31. “I don’t want to cause any offense, but I would see this as “women’s business”. To clarify, more men are interested in F1 than women, but tennis fans are spread much more evenly between the two sexes.” – Toby

    I think you would be surprised to know just how many women follow F1!

    But contradictory to popular believe sometimes F1 is actually very popular, and many people watch F1. It just seems like the races at the end of the year are much more watched then the races at the beginning or middle of the year.

    To put it into perspective I remember an article last year where they said that the Brazilian GP was the sporting event (of all the sporting events that had taken place), with the most viewers during the year. At some point there was an estimated 165 million people watching. It is properly all about timing, with the British GP.

    F1 is simple enough to understand there are many children who watches F1. In fact it might actually be easier then Tennis; whoever is in front is obviously wining it doesn’t get any easier then that. Not all F1 fans are on the “levels” of the average F1 forum lurkers, but there are still many who enjoy the sport nonetheless.

    It also depends on what your preferences are. There was a time when I used to follow Tennis closely. Until I discovered F1 now I’am just into F1 (and cricket on occasion) and Tennis bores me. It is different for everyone, at the end of the day Silverstone was still a sellout for three day! It means some people where very interested.

  32. on the way back from silverstone we had the match on the radio. quite honestly i was transfixed.

    i know next to nothing about tennis, wouldn’t call myself a fan and almost never follow the matches.

    but on several occasions late on sunday, we just had to stop the car because we’d missed another exit because i couldn’t concentrate on reading the map whilst listening.

    i think in this instance, the game was so good, the players so good, and the weather such a tease. f1 could never compete, whatever the race, whatever the outcome.

    basically lewis picked the wrong day to win his home gp.

  33. Adding to the fellow that says tennis is difficult once you reach a certain point, how about the difference between games, sets, and matches, or scoring by 15 until we feel like scoring by 10 until we feel like scoring by 1? How many points in a game, games in a set, sets in a match? When are tiebreakers used?

    Every game/hobby has some kind of jargon that a novice won’t easily understand.

  34. The tennis story was expected by the buying public; there has been two weeks of in-depth copy based on the Wimbeldon fortnight helping to build some buy in; the men’s final is basically the money shot – and for once the final lived up to the hype.

    No anti_Hamilton agenda driving the timing, though I wont dispute whether that the actual bias exists with the article contenets that do actually cover the race.

  35. I think some of our top drivers may lack character in comparison to Federer and Nadal . I love F1 and hate tennis , but when it comes down to that , it must be said like it is. M Schumacher , on the other hand , was full of charisma , the media were constantly hounding him to try and grab a story , both good or bad , as I wrote before , “is he missed in F1?” Although a die-hard fan then , I don’t miss him on the track at all , he had done it all and more and had nothing left to prove , but I do miss the enthusiasm he projected , his attitude towards the sport and the manner he responded to the press during interviews. He simply had a huge profile in F1 , which is exactly what Federer and Nadal have in Tennis , and a big match won or lost by such characters will always be big news.

  36. How about 12.7 million viewers watched the tennis?
    If I’m going to sell a newspaper the following day I’d pick the tennis over F1. It’s fresh in peoples minds and they want to read about what they saw.

    I went to the GP. Then went home and sat through the tennis. It was a great match. The quality of tennis was outstanding and it went the distance with the 2 best players in the world. Wimbledon IS the Championship in tennis. Every pro tennis player wants to win it.

  37. Scott Joslin
    8th July 2008, 10:52

    I agree with Ollie, there are two strands to this post but they are not necessarily connected.

    The tennis match on Sunday evening was a classic for many reasons, none more so than the Roger Federer era at Wimbledon came to an end in dramatic circumstances. Should Federer had taken the championship with ease in 3 straight sets, I doubt it would have been such big news.

    Lets not forget, leading up to sunday, the papers were full of Lewis and the young lady Robinson tennis player being Britain’s real hopes to make the country feel good. No real attention on the final in any special way. Come Monday morning, the events on centre court had changed all that, and fair enough.

    The second point is F1 too opaque? I disagree, I think the average viewer who watches tennis every now and again dosen’t necessarily understand the fine details of tennis, like the casual f1 viewer would.

    I took my girlfriend to Silverstone on Friday having never seen F1, and by the afternoon she was spotting oversteer and understeer, however after 5 hours of tennis on Sunday evening she could still not work out what 2 break points meant and what a tennis player does when he makes a “foot fault” because the commentators were too busy explaining the match rather than the rules.

  38. All was said here about tennis vs F1, so let me ask different question:

    why is British GP on the same day as Wimbledon final ?

    why was for example last year’s Chinese GP in the middle of a week long Chinese holiday and not on regular weekend (leaving usually not so empty grandstands empty) …

    It is not a big deal to run British GP ahead of French one (as next year schedule shows), it would not be that big a deal to switch Chinense and Japanese GPs (it happened before)

  39. As many have already said (including a certain John McEnroe)it was the best tennis match ever.
    Coming back to the title of your post, none was talking about LH vs KR because there was never the case (specially if you compare it to another sport like tennis). Leaving alone the start there was not a single moment where there one was directly challenging the other. Maybe in our twisted minds we were making complexe calculations: taking into account strategies, fuel loads, different tyres, weather predictions, SCs… that keep the tension up but at the end of the day if you just “watch the TV” there were not really so many ups and downs involving them (again compared to tennis). That’s exactly why many people -not around here of course- thinks that F1 is a boring sport.

  40. The “stay calm” comment explained…..

    I remember not too 2 weeks ago Mr Hamilton was feeling like the FIA and the press was against him, then suddenly he stays out of the puddles, and he is a hero and all is forgiven…

    Stay calm simply refers to the long season still ahead….and room for many more up and downs of all the drivers fighting for the championship

  41. I have to admit that the grand prix took a back seat on Sunday: the tennis was so much more exciting.

  42. i think because there is a kind of rivalry btw nadal and fedrer..roger beat nadal in the last wimb final..

    as far as f1 is concerned i am not sure whether there is a rivalry btw hamilton and kimi…

    it would be great to watch ham vs fernando again..

  43. I only really follow motorsport, in terms of any sport, but I have to say watching the Tennis on Sunday I was hooked.

    Now, I’ve played tennis. . . and I can easily say for myself I despise the game. However, watching pros play there was so much tension and excitement. To be honest, I know as much about tennis as I do about football – literally nada. Federer and Nadal were just two names…and in fact I didn’t even know I was watching the final! (I do watch a bit of tennis every year too)

    But from most of my friends perspective, I have things the wrong way round (F1 over any sport). Some of them are petrolheads, but just can’t stand F1…or watching any motorsport for more than a few minutes. There is just nothing which grabs their attention because it’s not completely transparent when you tune in what has gone on. Say you tune in mid race, you need to rely on commentators, and numerous data tables to figure out who’s where, what’s gone on, and you can still miss a lot….or miss nothing at all, which would probably be the the most likely given todays dry races. With tennis, football etc, it’s instant gratification – you tune in, you see who’s winning and you’re already amidst the action.

    I suppose it’s a bit different to other sports as well, where you only really have two sides competing at the same time…but I see this as a plus – it’s any teams game in F1 (well, not really in practice).

    I think the accessibility of F1 compared to other sports is a good point made earlier by someone else is that people can relate to the other sports … people have kicked a ball, picked up a tennis racket, etc. Most people haven’t been near an F1 car let alone drive one (nor are they likely to ever get that chance). F1 is a bit exclusive, and given it’s processional races, it can be interpreted as paying for the pleasure of watching a “few rich guys going round in circles” as an Irish woman once told me.

    F1’s big, but it’s almost like one of those things you can either hate or love. Whereas I love watching teams and drivers adapting to rule changes and the evolution of technology in the cars, as well as the racing itself, most people do not find F1 a competing sport because for the most part they’re not seeing the driver doing anything other than driving (which most probably don’t know is much of a physical demand in itself).

    I think you do have to follow F1 to enjoy it as a spectacle, whereas there are plenty of sports which are not so much the same case – tennis and football being two major examples.

  44. I will simply just put it down the the fact that Tennis, is like a boxing match between two opponents, and you can see the blows being struck, and then sometimes you have a knockout, which is spectacular. A visually physical sport.

    Formula1 on the other hand is a bit obscure, yes you do see the drivers in action working at the wheels, you an initial mad scramble for the lead, then it settles down for a while. While the drivers themselves under go as much or even more physical fitness as tennis players, this is often goes oblivious to the crowd, because much of F1 happens behind the scenes until the races.

    Finally a knockout in F1 terms isn’t just overtaking a fellow driver, rather its a total demolition of your opponent with a superior pace and car control that you leave them far behind. But when that happens in F1, the race is said to be boring.

  45. James Christie
    8th July 2008, 15:31

    I was somewhat bothered about the lack of attention the race got but then again I live in the USA where without cable you would not even be aware that F! exists. As for cycling, now Lance has retired It”s pretty much web now.
    On another issue Bernie needs tho remember that F1 is bigger than him & his need to make huge piles of cash. Start cutting out the UK or France & you are cutting out pieces of its heart . James Moorhead MN USA

  46. Keith, it is quite clear for me.

    It is a question of audience. F1 is “important” in Europe, mainly Italy, UK, France, Germany and Spain. I do not really know in Japan although I suppose it is followed.

    Tennis is much more “important” in the rest of the world. Only in Russia (The new strong nation in tennis) and The USA are much more million of spectators than the F1.

    The British press knows that, and also had a great match at their most important tourn (I mean in tennis) by large. Also there is a sense that the old traditions of this big tournament (sometingh very British) are in clear touch with modernity represented by two young fellows wich they represent with their behavior (stamina, power, sportmanship, honesty, humility….)the very best that the British want to sell to the world.

    Unfortunately, this not always match with F1. That is why.

  47. OK I’ve spent a while reading and thinking about this. Here are my thoughts.

    Firstly, I obviously didn’t get what a big event it was. As I say I work in Wimbledon and frankly I just think of it as an inconvenience – nowhere to sit on the train, people everywhere… I have watched tennis (on TV, not live) and it just leaves me cold. When I lived at home my mum was a big fan but it just bored me rigid (sorry Fer No 65!)

    The comments from Nico, Daniel, Greg, Alex and several others of you have made it easier for me to appreciate why it was such an important and interesting match.

    I do like some non-motor racing sports by the way. For example I can take football in small doses but it’s so overexposed here I tend to only see it when one of my friends comes round to watch Manchester United on Sky.

    Jean – “I think some of our top drivers may lack character in comparison to Federer and Nadal.” Agreed.

    Green Flag – “By the way, Keith, you missed an outstanding match. Don’t miss it next year.” I wouldn’t know one if it punched me on the nose. Don’t waste a ticket on me!

    Chunter – Those ads are context-based, so they should show ads depending on what the content of this page is, hence tennis ads here.

    Milos – “Why is British GP on the same day as Wimbledon final?” – It is clearly poor timing. Does the provisional date for next year’s British Grand Prix clash with Wimbledon? Is that why it’s been swapped with the French race?

    Oliver – “I will simply just put it down the the fact that Tennis, is like a boxing match between two opponents, and you can see the blows being struck, and then sometimes you have a knockout, which is spectacular. A visually physical sport. Formula 1 on the other hand is a bit obscure, yes you do see the drivers in action working at the wheels, you an initial mad scramble for the lead, then it settles down for a while. While the drivers themselves under go as much or even more physical fitness as tennis players, this is often goes oblivious to the crowd, because much of F1 happens behind the scenes until the races.” – I think this is closest to what I meant. I’ll return to this idea in a later, hopefully better focused article.

    Finally, I was reading about the commercial structure of tennis in the Financial Times before the tournament began and I got the impression that as a sport it has not exploited its commercial potential as effectively as, say, F1 has. Perhaps each could learn something from the other?

  48. ” I was reading about the commercial structure of tennis in the Financial Times before the tournament began and I got the impression that as a sport it has not exploited its commercial potential as effectively as, say, F1…”

    I haven’t seen the FT article but I cannot see how the complexities of the situation could be summed up in less than 50 pages. It could also be suggested that no other sport has exploited its commercial potential as well as F1 (maybe soccer, but a great deal of funds come from wealthy individuals which can skew the analysis).

    Given the nature of tennis, one really must find some like comparisons for a start point – some features: Individual Competitors, Royal patronage, Export via UK plc during the torrid days of Empire. Horse racing and Show jumping spring to mind and I think a comparison between the revenue gained through the chosen field for an individual jockey vs. individual tennis players may prove that tennis has done quite well. Even that comparison is difficult due to cost of participation having to taken into account for in the pocket monies.

    Let’s compare squash, badminton, fencing, or shooting perhaps in terms of commercial exploitation to measure the merits for tennis’ achievements.


  49. NB: I’ve just caught up with my podcasts and the Guardian Daily gives Hamiltons’ “awe inspiring” performance a lot of coverage versus the tennis coverage.

  50. michael counsell
    10th July 2008, 14:52

    In UK each Grand Prix is given roughly equal billing although there is a certain degree of extra attention for the British Grand Prix. Tennis on the other and recieves so much more attention in the Wimbledon fortnight reaching a crescendo on the finals day.

  51. Ben Goldberg
    12th July 2008, 9:02

    I don’t know if someone has pointed this out because I didn’t bother to read all 50 comments, but that tennis match was maybe the best match of tennis ever and Lewis Hamilton’s win was not much more than just a win. And I’m a F1 fan and not really a tennis fan at all.

  52. great tips on tennis. I Look forward to reviewing more here in the near future.


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