© Zhuhai Championships

In Zhuhai, Andreas Seppi is into his first tour-level quarter-final since Delray Beach this February.

Seppi Picks His Ultimate Player: Hint, There's A Lot Of Federer

Italian is pursuing his fourth ATP Tour title

Andreas Seppi earned a hard-fought victory at the Huajin Securities Zhuhai Championships Thursday in China, saving five match points to defeat Zhizhen Zhang. After the match, the Italian spoke to ATPTour.com about how he would build his ultimate tennis player and why.

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I think I would take John Isner’s because he’s serving big and he always has a high percentage of first serves in. And also his second serve is really tough to return, bouncing high and everything. I’d take his, definitely.

The forehand is difficult to decide on, but I would take Roger Federer’s forehand because I am right-handed, so I can’t take Rafa’s. He’s lefty! So I would go with Roger’s because it’s a very clean shot and he really has good timing on the shot and always anticipates going into the court and the net, so I really like that forehand.

It’s difficult because I would take a two-handed backhand. I really liked David Nalbandian’s backhand. He was one of the guys who could really get every angle with his backhand, short angle, going down the line, and it looked really easy. I really liked his.

Also Kei Nishikori’s two-handed backhand I really like because it looks really easy. Novak Djokovic’s, especially on the return. I think he’s always there really well. I also like Basilashvili’s because he plays really fast. He always has good timing. Maybe I would pick Nalbandian’s if I had to choose one.

There are a lot of players who are moving well like Novak or Rafa. Also I think Roger is still moving [well]. It looks easy when he’s moving. Maybe in general I would take Rafa for his endurance and everything.

I would take Roger again because when he comes in he almost never misses the volley. It’s difficult to make him miss the volley. When it’s a tough one he always plays it in a good position and then he goes for the next one. He has a great feeling at the net I would say. I would take him again for the volleys.

It’s difficult to say. A guy like Roger has a lot of options, so he can maybe play different shots in different moments. But I think Novak, Roger and Rafa, all three tactics-wise and mentally they are so strong and difficult to beat in the big moments. So it’s difficult to choose one of those three. I think Roger has more options.

I think a guy like Diego Schwartzman — you have to play really good tennis or have good hands to compete at a high level — and being not as tall as other players and serving aces, you really need to have good hands to compete and put the ball where you want. So I think he really has good hands and also knows a little how the game goes, a good eye to feel. I think he has pretty good hands, but again Roger barely misses a drop shot. He’s maybe also a guy who slices. When you see his slice, it [looks] really easy.

On the return Roger blocks it and on the second he can hit a nice, good slice. During the point he can vary the shots with the slice. I think for sure he has one of the slices on Tour, definitely. Steve Johnson just plays a slice backhand 90 per cent of the time, so you have to have a good slice to compete at this level. Roger can do a little bit more with the slice. I’ve picked him a lot of times!

Toughest Player I’ve Every Played
I had the feeling when I played Roger when you went down at the beginning, when you couldn’t stay there in the first games, he just crushed you. He played so fast and he never gives you time to relax or hit a normal shot because he always goes for it. I think with Rafa you have more time, but it’s difficult to win the point because he’s playing so heavy and everything. You have to hit like three winners to win the point. But you feel more that you’re into the match. Also with Novak or Andy [Murray], they let you play more. Roger plays faster and doesn’t give you much time. Playing against him is really tough.

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