Who enjoys watching little players driving big hitters insane?
Reading the thread about taking sadistic pleasure in seeing helpless players get overpowered, I realised that one of the things I've always found most entertaining is a smaller player, with less power, outwitting a power player. For example, watching Fabrice Santoro driving Marat Safin crazy every time they play (8-1 head to head, Marat describes having to play Fabrice like "being told I'm going to die) is quite an entertaining experience.
It's something that Martina Hingis used to do a lot, and despite her on court behaviour, I couldn't help but admire her cleverness, and the overall subtlety to her game. Unfortunately, it's a much rarer occurrance on the women's tour nowadays with a large emphasis being placed on big hitting.
The closest thing to it that I can remember in recent times off the top of my head was Serena Williams playing Emilie Loit in the first round of the 2003 Australian Open. Serena was at the peak of her powers, and no one thought it would even be competitive. However, the match turned out to be a 3 set thriller, and a match that Emilie could've won had she not realised who she was playing. She hit a high percentage of well placed, first serves, hit wickedly low slices, forcing Serena into error, and swung her lefty topspin forehand away from Serena's backhand.
It was certainly the best first round women's match I've ever witnessed. The next day there were articles discussing whether "the humble little French woman" had finally discovered a chink in Serena's invincible armour with her slices. Emilie won the audience (including myself) over that day, but unfortunately, I don't think she's ever played that well again.
If anyone also enjoys seeing the little guys win, or remembers a case of this happenning on the wta tour, feel free to discuss.