As long as professional tennis has existed, fans have followed top players on and off the court. Some select a favorite player who looks like them. Others select a favorite player who plays like them. Roger Federer and Serena Williams are often top choices for both fans and fellow players.
For some, personality influences which athlete fans idolize. An SB Nation article took the liberty to characterize personas based on favorite players. Some descriptions were harsh. A fan was labeled as a “complete failure” for selecting Jo-Wilfred Tsonga and another was stamped as a “brat” for choosing Serena Williams. Yet the fan who followed Federer was “charming.”
For others, game style can be a factor in the selection of a favorite competitor. An all-court player may choose Roger Federer while a defensive specialist may side with Rafael Nadal. On the women’s circuit, offensive players often associate with Serena Williams while Simona Halep is popular among many counterpunchers.
Other attributes, such as fashion sense and country of origin, may also influence this choice. The process of selecting an on-court idol is more complex than we may realize.
I am left to consider…
What is the most important trait in selecting a favorite player?