Calcutta: Fabrice Santoro, after having spent 19 years on the tour, is entitled to think that he has seen it all. The second oldest player in the ATP top 100 is extremely popular with the crowd.
A day before the start of the ATP meet, the Frenchman averred that the game has changed a lot since he first played at the age of 16. “The game has become so fast, everybody’s fit, everybody’s got a big serve and everybody hits the ball so hard.”
Another important development, says Santoro, who is seeded fifth in the singles draw, is that the modern player is good in every facet of the game. “In the old days, you could say that this player had a weak backhand or a weak serve so you could attack that area… Not any more, everybody is good in every area.”
Santoro, who is scheduled to meet countryman Edouard Roger-Vasselin in the opening round here, is emphatic about Roger Federer.
“Federer is dominating more than Pete Sampras... Since just 2003 he has won 12 Grand Slams and in those 12 wins he has won so many in straight sets.
“He’s strong in every part of the court and always plays the right shot at the right time. He has no perceptible weakness. In my mind, he’s the best ever.”