Friday, 7 October 2016


Monday, 28 April 2014


Firstly , an apology, to a player from Argentina named Christian Segni. Last October I wrote a post on this site and  referred to Christian as 'Guillermo', however I can be excused for this. Guillermo is one of those Argentinian names that is not unlike John or Bill in Australia so I may have just assumed this guy's first name was Guillermo, anyhow back to the story. I made reference to Segni in a chapter from my memory of Saumur , a beautiful French City and where Peter, Brett and myself played our first European Tournament in 1991. The tennis centre at Saumur was magnificent , from memory 16 indoor clay courts , all under lights and all in brilliant condition, a real eye opener for us Aussies.
After a day of practice we sat back and watched the international players train , there were some brilliant tennis players entered in the Saumur Tournament from all around Europe. We tried to fit in with some occasional pidgin English but we were always caught short when it came to having a conversation with a French player. 'Ok mate we will have to leave it there'...... or words to that effect anyhow.
I still vividly remember watching the player who is in fact named Christian ,( not Guillermo) Segni  both in practice and in his first round match , he was entertainment plus. Christian had one of those forehands that you would give anything to have had footage of so you could show your pupils back home, it was in a word , brilliant. It was lethal, it had spin, depth, power and consistency all rolled into one magnificent shot.
It was a shot had his opponents trying to not only run it down but to return it  back into court to his backhand side which wasn't as strong. He hit slice from that side, a good slice, not unlike many European clay courters, steady, reliable but not brilliant by any means. It was not like Federer's backhand slice that could set a point up for a winning volley.
The first round match that Segni played in Saumur was a challenge for him, there weren't any easy matches so we got to see plenty of Christian's forehands. The Argentine also had a funny habit, he would look to the stands after each point that he won. He would stare up at his mates who were cheering him on, he was after some acknowledgement, he received it, he deserved it.
Of all the players I observed in Europe on that 1991 tour Christian Segni stood out from the rest as his play was exhilarating and he was fit, he had to be to keep running around his backhand to hit that magnificent forehand. I often wondered how Christian went with his tennis.
The internet is a wonderful way of finding out past results and I did some research into Christian Segni, this is what I found out about him.
He in fact recently reached World Number 1 for his age group 40's , not surprisingly either if he's still hitting that forehand like he did in 91.
Christian Segni is a typical example of a player who didn't quite make it as a professional player but still had the desire to get to the top in his sport. Segni is in the same mould as Brett who also reached the pinnacle in the world for his age recently.
I wondered how Christian faired in that first tournament we saw him play , if he didn't win it I would be surprised , it would've taken a great player to beat him.
Christian , if ever you read this firstly I apologize for calling you Guillermo and secondly thank you for leaving such an impression on both myself and my Aussie mates all those years ago in Saumur , France .Well done on reaching World Number 1 for your age and keep hitting those forehands like you did in 1991, absolutely inspirational.........

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