South Africa’s Kevin Anderson has blasted Channel 7 commentators for saying they have never heard of American Tim Smyczek during the American’s five-set defeat to Rafael Nadal in the second round.
Smyczek, who earned the world’s respect for his great performance against Nadal and his incredible sportsmanship when he allowed the Spaniard to re-hit a first serve after a spectator yelled out as he was serving, is ranked No112 in the world, and peaked at No73 in 2013.
Anderson tweeted this during the match:
I can't understand how these @Channel7 commentators can say they have never heard of a player ranked top 100 ATP. It's your job to know
— Kevin Anderson (@kevinanderson18) January 21, 2015
On Friday, following his 6-4, 7-6(3), 7-6(6) third round victory over Richard Gasquet, Anderson explained his grief with the Australian channel’s commentators.
“There’s so many good tennis players and sometimes I feel when guys who are under the radar in a general sense come out and playing, I think tennis commentators can do a much better job of really pushing those guys up,” the No14 seed said.
“When people are watching, it’s the first time they’ve maybe seen somebody like Tim playing. He’s a great player, he’s now going to be top-100 and I don’t think it’s a fair comment for commentators to say they’ve never heard of this guy before.”
Anderson cited golf commentators as an example their counterparts in tennis should follow.
“I think golf is a great example, there are guys who I’ve personally never heard of before but the commentators are telling me their backgrounds, how amazing they are, this is what they like to do and I have an attachment to them as opposed to saying ‘I’ve never seen this guy’. It sort of divorces the people watching from players like that,” added the University of Illinois alumnus.
“I would hope in the future maybe that’s something we can try to address a little bit because I feel it’s the commentators’ role to help promote players who aren’t always playing on centre court and comments like that I don’t think really help out too much.”
Anderson will take on Nadal in the last 16 on Sunday.
The South African's wife, Kelsey (a must-follow on Twitter by the way), also said this on the matter:
I wish these commentators would quit talking about Tim like he's come from nowhere to end up in this match. He made 3R Usopen you pigeons!!!
— Kelsey Anderson (@KelseyOAnderson) January 21, 2015