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El partido de dobles de fantasía de Taylor Fritz sería con él y Juan Martin del Potro ante Pete Sampras y Andre Agassi.

Fantasy Doubles: American #NextGen Edition

Jared Donaldson, Taylor Fritz, Stefan Kozlov, Tommy Paul, Noah Rubin and Frances Tiafoe reveal their dream doubles matchups

It’s the dream of all tennis fans. A fantasy match with your favourite players. Here’s the task: pick one – active or retired – to team up with and two to play against. Who would you choose?

ATPWorldTour.com posed this question to the six members of the American #NextGen contingent. After all, players are fans too. They wrote about their selections…

Jared Donaldson
Partner: Novak Djokovic, Opponents: Roger Federer & Rafael Nadal
That’s a tough one. I’ll go with Djokovic, playing against Federer and Nadal. I think Novak’s game most resembles mine. You look for contrasting styles in a doubles partner, but I’m here to learn. Just to see how he would approach playing against Roger and Rafa, especially returning their serves. Our backhands are also the most similar out of those three guys. Of course it’s on a much lesser scale, but I try to play close to his style.

When you look at my generation, the generation I’m competing against, all three of them are the best in the game. Arguably the best in the history of the game. I’ve grown up watching these guys win all the big titles, dominate at the top and basically set the bar for all players for years. I practised with Roger before, but a match like this would be totally different. To be able to spend time with those three would be invaluable.

Taylor Fritz
Partner: Juan Martin del Potro, Opponents: Andre Agassi & Pete Sampras
I’d play with del Potro. Hands down. We’d be unstoppable. He has a few inches on me, but I like to think we have pretty similar games. His forehand is still one of the biggest weapons on the ATP World Tour. I’ll never forget I was 11 when he won the US Open and broke into the Top 5. He was dominating everyone in his path. Ruthless on the court, but so humble off it. That’s what I’ve admired most about delPo. He always has a smile on his face, no matter what he’s gone through. He’s a fighter. I’m a fighter. We’ll click.

Who are we going to play against? Let’s go with Sampras and Agassi. Two of the greatest Americans to ever play the game. They can still bring it, so it won’t be easy. Pete has always been my idol. It was the experience of a lifetime to get to hit with him at a Challenger in Mexico last year. When I first started watching tennis as a kid, I’d try to copy his serve. I like to think our serves ended up somewhat similar. I don’t bring my right foot up during my serve and I have a very simple motion just like him. He was a little before my time, so I’d look at old video of his matches. He had some pop, but it was the accuracy in the clutch, going big on second serves in big points, that was even more incredible. As for Andre, he’s a hard worker and such a character. Just great for the game. We’ll have plenty of laughs. I’m excited for this. When can we make it happen?

Stefan Kozlov
Partner: Andre Agassi, Opponents: Roger Federer & Andy Murray
No doubt playing with Andre. Going old school with that pick. I’ve never gotten the chance to meet him, but I’ve really liked him since I was a kid and I’ve heard a lot of people say that my game is similar to his. I think I play like him, so it would be cool to see him up close. I could learn a lot from that match! His returns are really what set him apart. He might be the best returner ever and I look at his approach there. Just a great overall competitor.

I’d want to take the deuce side when we’re returning against Roger and Andy, but I’d let Andre decide. I think we’d put a lot of returns in the court. We’d all have a lot of fun out there with a lot of good points. Always thought Andy’s great and Roger needs no explanation. I’ve hit with both of them before, but you still don’t know what to expect. I’ve had good practices – with Fed at the US Open and both in Miami – and enjoyed that. They’re both funny and crack a lot of jokes, but they work really hard.

Tommy Paul
Partner: Andy Roddick, Opponents: Jimmy Connors & John McEnroe
Andy’s the man. I hit with him last year at Wimbledon and went to Austin to practise with him for a week. It was a blast. He gave me some advice on how to handle pressure situations. He did alright for himself, so he’s a pretty awesome guy to listen to. Can’t wait to hit the court with him again.

Full confession: Up until a year ago, I wasn’t a fan of watching tennis at all. Yeah, no joke. I barely watched any tennis on TV or even old videos on YouTube. Recently, I started watching more. When I was at the US Open last year, ESPN was showing one of the older matches of McEnroe and Connors. They had a lot of fire when they were playing, but Roddick and I could take them today. If we went back in time to face them in their prime, I think I’d hold back the team a bit. We’d take them to a tie-break, but lose 7-6, 6-4.

Noah Rubin
Partner: Roger Federer, Opponents: John McEnroe & Gael Monfils
EASY. Fed’s on my team. I mean, I definitely think I’m more talented in every aspect of tennis than he is, so it’ll be nice to have him around. Ok, seriously though, he’s always been an idol for me. Truly incredible. I got to work with Djokovic and Nadal, but he’s one of the guys I haven’t really spoken to much. There’s an aura around him and there’s something about Roger Federer that is tough to explain. Really are no words for it, so I’ll leave it there.

On the other side, because he thinks he’s a good doubles player and maybe has some titles to back it up, is John McEnroe. He’s won a couple titles here and there. I train at his academy and there’s a different perspective from being in so many high-pressure situations in big tournaments, that you can only get from someone like him. He’s been so helpful in giving me the tools to focus during my matches and succeed.

And playing with Johnny Mac, I’d have to pick one guy I’ve always wanted to play against: Gael Monfils. Showtime on that side of the court. I’ve always been in awe of his athleticism. I can’t say I’ve tried to mimic it, but I’ve tried to be a smaller, less athletic Monfils. Movement has always been a big aspect of my game and I love grinding for every ball and people saying, “I don’t know how he got that ball.” I love having that effect. When he’s moving and playing well, it’s tough to get a ball past that guy. He comes up with shots that are just incredible.

Frances Tiafoe
Partner: Juan Martin del Potro, Opponents: Andre Agassi & Pete Sampras
I’d have to say me and del Potro playing Agassi and Sampras. I feel like that would be a lot of fun. DelPo is my guy. I want him on my side. The way he plays and how he interacts with the crowd is all class. He’s someone I’ve looked up to. He was the youngest to win a Grand Slam in a long time and just how he broke through, beating the Big Four when they were dominating, was huge.

As an American, facing Agassi and Sampras would be amazing. They’re American legends. For us, they don’t get much bigger than them. Loved Agassi. He was electric. He was wild. You watch his strokes and his attitude and how could you not like him? Would be an epic match against those guys.