Your kid may have the wrong poster

Novak Djokovic just beat Roger Federer to win Wimbledon. It was a great contest between two of the best athletes in the world, and probably the two best players ever. After the match, each player went in front of the media and gave interviews. In English. And French. And Italian. And Spanish. And German. Djokovic is Serbian, and Federer is Swiss, so presumably they spoke to media from their own countries as well. These are both young guys who spend thousands of hours on practice courts and in gyms to keep in peak shape. And they still find time to date supermodels and oversee huge charity foundations. Pretty impressive. These are highly evolved humans. The last American in the draw was Denis Kudla, and he was born in Ukraine. The last American winner was Andy Roddick in 2003. Why have things gone so wrong for American men’s tennis? The answer may be on your kid’s bedroom wall. Chances are your kid’s sports heroes are from Baseball, basketball and football. Chances are also pretty good that they aspire to succeed in those same sports. Sports well-known for everything from gangs to drugs to off-the-field crime. Tattoos and trash talking are the norm. Maybe that’s the draw. maybe that’s who we are as a country. But after watching another epic tennis match, I can’t help but feel we can do better. Now if you’ll excuse me, i’m off to buy my grandson a tennis racquet.

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