Marcelo Rios: Roger Federer was not an entertaining tennis player

Rios thinks Federer was elegant but not entertaining.

by Dzevad Mesic
Marcelo Rios: Roger Federer was not an entertaining tennis player

Marcelo Rios says he loved how Roger Federer played tennis but noted that he didn't consider the Swiss "an entertaining player." Rios, a former world No 1, was quite a personality during his pro tennis days and he was well-known for his antics.

Nowadays, Rios enjoys watching the likes of Nick Kyrgios and Fabio Fognini. “Federer for me is not a player that you see and you say ‘how entertaining’. I like the way he plays because he’s a guy with incredible ease, very intelligent on the court, very good.

But he is not a Kyrgios, a Fognini that you see him and you are waiting for him to make a fuss, to leave a mess. That’s more entertaining," Rios told CLAY.

Rios: Kyrgios knows how to make a spectacle

Kyrgios, the 2022 Wimbledon runner-up, is never shying away from being his real self on the court.

Rios, the 1998 Australian Open runner-up, considers Kyrgios very authentic and someone who draws attention and brings entertainment. “Tennis has always had restrictions. If you swear, you get a fine; if you throw your racket, another fine.

In press conferences you couldn’t talk bad things about anyone. Wimbledon makes you dress in white making you look like I don’t know what. Tennis is boring, it’s like watching cricket. Then a guy like Kyrgios comes out and revolutionizes everything.

He packs stadiums, it’s a spectacle. My personality was also a bit ‘wrong’. I used to attract a lot of attention by throwing rackets, or by saying ‘old f---’ (to an annoying lady in the crowd). People were entertained," Rios said.

Last year, Kyrgios wore a red Jordan hat during the on-court trophy presentation at Wimbledon. Later, Kyrgios revealed that he was slapped with "an almost $10,000 fine" for breaching Wimbledon's all-white policy. Kyrgios' matches always feature sold-out crowds and that's one of the biggest reasons why tournaments love to have the Australian.

Marcelo Rios Roger Federer