SI’s Best Looking Athletes: Snubbing Federer… Again

by Lynn Berenbaum | December 21st, 2006, 5:11 pm

I’m really unclear what Sports Illustrated has against the World’s Number 1 male tennis player, but they seem to really have it bad. For details on their snub of Roger Federer as Sportsman of the Year, check out my blogging buddy Sean Randall’s most excellent post, Federer Snubbed, Wade Wins SI Sportsman of the Year, from earlier this month.

Winding through the year-end recaps, the magazine has now put forth their list of Best Looking Athletes, and though tennis is well represented by hotties of both genders, the Swiss mister was missed from the list.

The judges panel was made up of five SI swimsuit models, who had the odd job of picking 20 people from a group of 100 pictures. The ATP had a strong showing with Marat Safin, Andy Roddick, James Blake, and Rafael Nadal; while the WTA ladies selected were Anastasia Myskina, Daniela Hantuchova, and Anna Kournikova. Topping the list for the women was, of course, SI Swimsuit model Maria Sharapova (and if you haven’t seen the 2007 calendar from her photo shoot, stop what you’re doing right now and click here).

The best part was clearly the side comments made by the models, and we simply have to give credit where it’s due: Fernanda Motta seemed to not only know that Marat Safin has a bad temper, but that James Blake once had dreads. Go Fernanda!

Anne V, on the other hand, seemed nonplused by Anna K’s dubious status as a current working athlete, and instead based her vote on the fact that “Enrique Iglesias is a nice piece of ass.” Well, sure, ya gotta respect that.

I, for one, appreciate the vote for Anastasia Myskina, but I think we can all come up with a list of 10 other female tennis players without really trying. I’m also very much loving the Rafa picture, and look forward to his upcoming appearance with the touring company of the hit musical “Hair”.

Okay, seriously… I recognize that none of these esteemed judges are rocket scientists, and that this is yet another lame beauty contest, and that Roger will undoubtedly get the SOTY for 2007, but given all the hoopla over the Sportsman snub, you would think that the SI editors would at least have the smarts to stuff the ballot box and create a booby prize out of a beauty prize.

Feel free to weigh in with your opinions on the athletes who were picked by the list of obviously myopic beauties. And for any of you Fedfans who want to send in your comments, and maybe ask for a recount, SI has helpfully put up a form for your convenience.

Oh, and in case you’re interested: Dwayne Wade made this list too.

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36 Comments for SI’s Best Looking Athletes: Snubbing Federer… Again

Simon Gere Says:

SI rich guys are a bunch of criminals

Jean Says:

What’s with the Phillippoussis picture?

Davita Says:

Those picks were horrible! And they seemed to be going primarily on popularity (Beckham at #2? YAWN…!). Safin was rated way too low and the so-called judges seemed to run out of adjectives after using the word “great.”

funches Says:

Wade spells his first name Dwyane, not Dwayne.

Elle Says:

I don’t care about the Sports Illustrated magazine. The paper they use is cheap. Why would Roger Federer want to be on the cover or even be mentioned in that sorry “favoring American athletes” magazine?

Lynn Says:

Well . . . Enrique Iglesias IS a nice piece of ass.!

t.k. Says:

Can’t find a word to describe SI’s executives committees because they are so moron! Just remember all you guys! ‘Roger Federer is above you all’. I wonder why SI gets all these people to be stuff or everyone in this terrible mag is the same…NO BRAIN!!!

rc Says:

why dont you post my comments?

from tradingtennis

Lynn Berenbaum Says:

Jean Says:

What’s with the Phillippoussis picture?

I think the X-editors were dipping into the egg nog last night.

funches Says:

Wade spells his first name Dwyane, not Dwayne.

I’m pretty sure I was dipping into the egg nog last night. I can’t rightly remember. Either way, speeling is not my strong suite.

Cut me some slack though. I think Wade’s parents spelled it wrong. ;)

rc Says:

why dont you post my comments?

Hmmm. If you were having a problem with our spam tool, it seems to be fixed. Comment away!

I think many people are astounded that Safin didn’t rate much higher, but if the judges were only looking at one picture and don’t know the athlete, that could make the difference. It was pretty easy to pick Anna Kournikova even off of one lousy picture.

I’m also using this theory to convince myself that this is the reason Feliciano Lopez didn’t make the cut, because there is no other possible explanation.

And yes Lynn (love the name), I think we can all agree that Enrique is a nice piece of ass.

Fan of Tennis Says:

Well I think Roger is very handsome and he has the perfect body for modeling clothes (he looks great dressed up – or down for that matter!)… It doesn’t matter if SI didn’t pick him again, more that 95,000+ fans registered at thinks he’s hot (check out the hot legs, hair, lips, eyelashes, tummy, and other body part threads over there to see great pictures of him).

Regardless of what SI picks or don’t pick – 2006 was a HOT YEAR for Roger Federer – we all know it!

Tina CdeBaca Says:

I too agree with Lynn. Enrique is a nice piece of ass!!!! Why don’t you put him on the cover?? He is probably the most athletic in bed anyway.

John Says:

Nice MS calendar (Note: October pic is missing from your slide show).

If you compare SI’s results with the Tennis Channel “hotties” poll (in October 2006) with over 200,000 votes, the most noticeable difference is Ana Ivanovic and Maria Kirilenko, along with Roger.

Men: (SI)
1 Rafael Nadal (10)
2 Andy Roddick (17)
3 Roger Federer (missing)
4 Marat Safin (18)
5 James Blake (13)

Women: (SI)
1 Ana Ivanovic (missing)
2 Maria Kirilenko (missing)
3 Maria Sharapova (1)
4 Daniela Hantuchova (12)
5 Martina Hingis (missing)

Lynn Berenbaum Says:


Your powers of observation are remarkable. Yes, I lost the October pic and never retrieved it. I’m lame. People should just buy the calendar. Now that it’s almost ’07, I’m sure the price will be nice.

I thought about the TTC hotties contest too, but didn’t go through the awardees so thoroughly. It’s funny that you don’t point out that the exclusion of Martina Hingis as a “noticable difference”. Was that intentional? ;)

Fan of Tennis:

(check out the hot legs, hair, lips, eyelashes, tummy, and other body part threads over there to see great pictures of him).

Body part threads? Okay, that’s a little creepy! As long as Jeff Dahmer isn’t on the fan board, I guess you’re safe.

John Says:


Since SI had 4 tennis players each and Martina ended up 5th, I didn’t include her.

I also didn’t include others, like Dementieva, Vaidisova, Chakvetadze, Domachowska, Sprem and of course Ashley Harkleroad.

By the way, did you notice that Ashley is playing with Mardy Fish for the US team in the upcoming Hopman Cup (which starts Dec 30th). She replaced Venus. (Go Ashley.)

Did you also notice that Mardy was not one of SI’s picks. :-)

Lynn Berenbaum Says:

I honestly though that Ashley was going to be the next Anna K about 4 years ago.

I question the exclusion of Dementieva, Vaidisova, Ivanovic, Mauresmo, and Mirza; and Ferrero, Feli, Robredo, Nalbandian, Ancic… the list goes on.

The lemonade is that others are able to recognize that our sport is full of such beautiful athletes.

Even if they did @#$& it up. ;)

Lynn V Says:

Oh. Okay. ha ha ha I guess you guys are determined to stick to tennis as a subject for this tennis site. I was hoping to shift the conversation to Enrique. (:

John Says:

The first time I saw Mario Ancic, I said to myself, there’s a very tall Sal Mineo (Rebel without a Cause).

The first time I saw Ashley, I thought she was stunningly beautiful. And she still is.

Of those mentioned above that I’ve seen upclose and in person (i.e. within two feet), here’s my ordered list and with a scale from 1 to 10:

1) Dementieva (10)
2) Kirilenko (10)
3) Domachowska (10)
4) Harkleroad (10)
5) Vaidisova (10)
6) Hantuchova (9)
7) Chakvetadze (9)
8) Hingis (9)
9) Sprem (8)
10) Myskina (8)

Lynn Berenbaum Says:

Now that you mention it…I think you’re onto something John.

Lynn V: The question for me has become, ‘Is Enrique hotter than Marat?’ That’s a toughie.

Lynn V Says:

Well!! don’t hate me but I didn’t know who Marat was so I had to Google him. oh my! He definitely was worth googling — and he certainly belongs on a tennis hottie list with the curly hair, big eyes and the 6’4″ of muscles. Hmmm, but I admit I was teasing you with my other comments. I apologize for getting off-topic, but as an Enrique fan, I get tired of hearing Anna K referred to as one of his assets. I enjoyed this article so much because the shoe was on the other foot! I must admit I prefer Enrique over Marat postered on my bathroom wall. He, too, has a nice physique — 6’2″ of muscles — with the big eyes, etc. He may not be able to swing a tennis racket as well as Marat (lol), but Enrique sure can sing! Thanks for letting me babble.

Seraphim Says:

I needed that laugh. Good fun article. And YES, check out the Sharapova link.

Steven Rahn Says:

Hmmm. Well, I think Roger will get through this tough time. He isn’t classicly handsome, but there is something about his
noble forehead, dark eyes and graceful movement that is kinda beautiful.

Tina CdeBaca Says:

Enrique is way better looking than Marat!!!!!!!!!!

t.k. Says:

Hi everyone,
I used to hear many people said ” Blonded-hair women (now only for Models) have no BRAIN”
Is that true?

SI Says:

Fedfans are in my prayers in these hard times.

How can they snub Federer twice in such a short space of time? The injustice!

That said: I think that it’s actually a good idea to let people who don’t know the first thing about tennis to judge the appearance.

Because once you have favorites in tennis, that favoritism clouds your judgement. Federer is not ugly but he is not a hottie by a long shot and Safin was VERY HOT about 3 years ago.

SI Says:

Furthermore, it’s a bit silly to insult women most of you probably don’t know at all just because you don’t like what they have written.
They don’t need to be an expert in sports to give their own personal opinion on appearance.

Daniela Says:

Marat is still VERY HOT.Check his photos on his web site Hoooooot

Colleen Says:

I don’t think Federer is missing from their list. OK, the guy is a great tennis player. That doesn’t make him hot. (Though he looks better now that he cut off the pony tail…that REALLY made him look he was beat by the ugly stick.)

My top few tennis guys in the top 50, in no particular order, not necessarily based on their ATP snapshot:


Shaun Says:

I don’t think Federer is handsome, compared to other atheletes. I don’t like his eyes. Of course, beauty is very subjective. BTW, before you guys bombard me, I am a Federer fan…. but I have to give my opinion when it comes to prettiness.

To me, the pretty guys on the ATP tour are:
1. Marat Safin (Purrfect!)
2. Tommy Robredo
3. Ivan Ljubicic (love that bald sexy)
4. Feliciano Lopaz
5. Richard Gasquet
6. Acasuso (he can lose a few pounds….)
7. Gaston Gaudio (Need new hairdo)
8. Juan Carlos Ferrero
9. Carlos Moya
10. Robby Ginepri (need new hairdo)

Steven Rahn Says:

Wow. I must live in a alternate universe. I love Gasquet’s game, so beautiful, and I can’t wait for a major break-through…but he falls a bit short of handsome. Both Roger and Richard have more nose than they require, but Roger has way nicer hair, skin, jaw-line, and general gracefulness. I like Roger’s twinkling dark eyes btw…. elvin looking, but warm. Ljubicic….not a pretty man, but yeah, points for the big-sexy-beast

ZooTrouble Says:



zola Says:

Federer is a tennis player. His looks may not neccessarily match his tennis and to me doesn’t matter how he or Nadal or other tennis players are rated by some blondies who even don’t know how to spell tennis. Stop all this fuss….

Lucy McMorris Says:

Roger Federer is a sublime tennis player – but he is definitely NOT good looking. He’s got a schnoze that would put Jimmy Durante to shame.

kamret Says:

I’m not a big Federer fan but for all those think he is not good-looking, you must have your eyes in your a**!(No offense, people!) The guy is perhaps the best-looking # 1 ever (since Borg).

kamret Says:

I’m not a big Federer fan but for all those who think he is not good-looking, you must have your eyes in your a**!(No offense, people!) The guy is perhaps the best-looking # 1 ever (since Borg).

jonakaa Says:

Federer is one homely macaroni so I wouldnt go so far as to say that Sports Illustrated snubbed him for their best looking athletes list. they were just being real.

emi Says:

federer’s nose looks like another nose was placed on top of his actual nose. he does have extremely nice hair though.
Gasquet has these extremely nice eyes and smile. has anyone else noticed them? His nose is a tad let down though. It erm…lights up.
And Lopez is just pretty.

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