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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

YouTube’s tennis sensation

Gordon+Bates%2FArizona+Daily+Wildcat%0A%0AUofA+Wildcat+tennis+player+Andres+Carrasco+practicing+at+the+UofA+Lenelle+Rodson+Tennis+Courts+for+the+upcoming+competition.
Gordon Bates/Arizona Daily Wildcat UofA Wildcat tennis player Andres Carrasco practicing at the UofA Lenelle Rodson Tennis Courts for the upcoming competition.

What do tennis greats Andre Agassi, Roger Federer, Pete Sampras and Rafael Nadal all have in common? 

They’ve all been spoofed by Arizona men’s tennis player Andres Carrasco, whose Youtube imitations of those players, among others, have garnered worldwide attention in the form of 120,000 views, a compliment from a current professional tennis star and multiple media outlets wanting to know the story behind the three-part video series.

“”I would just impersonate three or four players and my tennis mates on the court would laugh,”” said Carrasco, explaining where the idea for the videos came from. “”I just wanted to see myself doing it, and that’s why they filmed me.

“”But the next thing you know I am on YouTube.””

Over the course of three different eight-minute videos, the Barcelona native transforms into tennis legends past and present, transitioning from player to player by tweaking his style of play — and even wardrobe — to match the player he is impersonating.

“”Every imitation I do is very particular and different from the others,”” Carrasco said.

His attention to detail is what has made the videos so popular. Carrasco’s Roger Federer impersonation includes the Swiss player’s trademark bandana, a spot-on portrayal of his backhand stroke and even a bit of Federer’s typical, nonchalant towel toss to the ball boy between points.

Similarly, Carrasco will hike up his shorts and shorten his steps to represent the early-90s style of Andre Agassi, and then will sport the classic sleeveless green tee when he mimics his fellow Spanish countryman Rafael Nadal.

His acute awareness of each player’s tendencies resulted in the uncanny imitations, and much to Carrasco’s own surprise, it is what caught the eye of a national newspaper and radio station in Spain.

“”I never thought that people around the world would watch my videos,”” Carrasco said. “”When the radio station in Spain and the main sports newspaper in the country called me, I could not believe it.””

His fame only grew last month, when current world No. 3-ranked Andy Murray gave props to the young Spaniard when he said on Twitter, “”Andres Carrasco tennis imitations on youtube is soooooo good.””

When asked about his reaction to the praise from such an elite player, Carrasco simply said, “”I just started laughing and thinking that I should (imitate) Andy now, since he showed his appreciation for the videos.””

Carrasco’s appreciative attitude about the fame he has received from the videos is seemingly what makes his imitations so endearing around the Arizona men’s tennis squad.

“”He’s got a great sense of humor about it,”” head coach Tad Berkowitz said. “”We’re definitely entertained with him at practice and at tournaments.””

Carrasco, known to his teammates as “”Nacho,”” is clearly an avid student of the game. 

Growing up, he enjoyed watching players like Agassi and Sampras in their prime, and said that the accomplishments of world No. 1 Roger Federer are “”simply spectacular, beyond words.””

It takes a lot of talent to replicate the movements and characteristics of top athletes to the degree that Carrasco is able to and he made it clear that it’s not that easy.

“”It’s not that I am a magician and can imitate every single player I want to,”” Carrasco joked. “”Everyone has different facial and body expressions, different walks and ways of executing their strokes. I have fun observing all those little things not only on the court but also off the court.””

As a junior coming off a strong 2008-2009 campaign where he finished tied for the team lead in singles victories, Carrasco will be looked for to help the Wildcats return to top-25 form and get a shot at the Pacific 10 Conference title.

But like anyone who has seen the imitations on YouTube knows, Carrasco will surely also be looked to for something else.

A fourth video.

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