For what it's worth,
here is a list of my favorite players,
past and present
(listed in alphabetical order)

        Gigi Fernandez

During the very few times
that I was fortunate enough to see her play
(only once live; TV seemed to ignore her),
Olympic Gold Medalist
was always enthusiastic
and just seemed to have fun,
even when she was mad at herself for a bad play
(unlike the boorish antics of McEnroe and Connors,
and not as geeky as the Jensen brothers,
whose act has gotten old).

        Ivan Lendl

He combined grace, style, and ability,
making him a marvel to watch.
I especially liked his rarely displayed sense of humor:

When asked why he couldn't win Wimbledon, he said,
"I'm allergic to grass"
on the same day that he was playing golf!

Thomas Muster

The "Animal" -- as he was referred to -- was just that:
A ferocious opponent
who sometimes lets his over-abundant energy
get the better of him and his game.
He could easily have been Number One in the World (again!),
if he had just controlled his passion.
Unfortunately, he dropped-out of pro-tennis,
with nary a word to the press or his fans.

What do they have in common (at least, to me)?

Quite simply:  Personality!

They didn't just sit on the court waiting to hit the ball!

You felt their tenacity and intensity!

They seemed to be having fun (usually at the expense of their opponents!),
and their mannerisms on the court were a pleasure to watch!

Even stoic Lendl exuded a ferocity on court
that could not be ignored (just ask McEnroe!).

I don't like grunters, whiners,
boring acers or one-shot volleyers,
or those who put religion above all else,
but don't have the guts to blame it for their losses.

In case you haven't noticed,
I haven't chosen any of the current crop of players.

As you may have guessed from the above,
I simply haven't found either a male or female player
who meet with my standards of verve, tenaciousness, and showmanship.

That's all there is to it!

      (having said that, I am leaning toward Marat Safin -- U.S. Open 2000 champion --
      but he is a little undisciplined at this early stage in career.
      I'll wait and see what the future holds for him!)

At the risk of creating some static or "fuzz",
I have created negative nicknames for some of today's players
to reflect why they do not fit my ideals for true championship merit:

        Sampras = Simpris
                (for not playing in Davis Cup because it conflicts with money-making events)

        Chang = Chang-A-Lang-A-Ding-Dong
                (for failing to live up to his potential)

        Seles = So Loud
                (need I say more?)

        The Williams' = The Whiners
                (is it just me, or do they sound like puppies being spanked? YIP!)

It does not matter that they all have one at least one Grand Slam event,
which is a total coincidence, as far as this list is concerned.
It is simply that they annoy me, for the reasons shown, above!

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