Do you ever wish you could have a dream match, with your favorite tennis player? Who would it be? And why? I have a lot of them. Too many to pick from. Having seen thousands of tennis matches, I could probably name hundreds of players, who I’d love to meet on the court. So I gave myself a challenge, to sit down and figure out what my top 10 list would be. What surface the match would be held on and how I would play them.
After giving it some time, I was able to come up with a pretty diversified list. I’ll be putting this up in increments, since I’d like to make it detailed.
First, I need to tell you about my playing style. I’m an aggressive all-courter, with a heavy first serve. I like to hit with moderate topspin on my forehand and keep the backhand shots flat. I’m also right handed and prefer extended rallies, where I can gradually work my way forward.
Aptly named the Magician. Santoro, was a master at spin, drop shots, topspin lobs, and hitting off paced balls. On top of that he was incredibly fast and could produce angles that you wouldn’t believe. For a guy, with such an unusual, yet incredible game. It would be hard not to put him on the list.
How would I play him?
Given his ability to hit winners from all over the court, going for broke against him would be suicide. I would try to play long, high percentage rallies, going deep to his backhand as often as possible and looking for the chance to come in off a short ball and rip it cross-court. Santoro, was great at coming up with winners on the run. So if I did come in, I’d look to close the court off as much as I could, yet not get too close to the net. Otherwise you run the risk of a topspin lob. Santoro’s specialty.
As you can see, from watching Federer, Djokovic, and other top pros playing him, it’s not easy to put a ball away against the guy. You have to be patient and wait for the opportunity, to try and force a winner.
What surface would I play him on?
Hard courts are my favorite surface. They’re more naturally suited to my game than grass or clay. Because I like the true bounce. Most of my choices here, will be hard courts but I do have a couple of exceptions later on. Besides, the hard courts would allow me to make better use of my serve against the speedy “Magician.”
Stay tuned for part 2.