TAMPA BAY, Fla. — Alessandra Bonte has a dangerous forehand.
The aggressive base-liner of the University of South Florida Bulls uses power and precision to dismantle her opponents.
Augustin Moreno, head coach of the Bulls, likes what he sees in the young sophomore.
“Definitely one of the best techniques I’ve ever seen,” Moreno said, as he watched her hit a winner. “She’s got a beautiful forehand. She hits it really well, and she’s a good talent.”
Bonte, who won in straight sets on Wednesday against Kelly Barry of the Boston College Eagles, has been working to improve her already vicious forehand.
“We do a lot of drills, I play cross-court and that’s the easiest shot you can play and the most secure one that you can do,” Bonte said after cruising to victory. “I’ve done so many drills and now it just feels natural.”
Hard work and preparation are paying off for the talented Bonte, who’s won three straight matches.
“If I know the opponent, I’ll work up a game-plan, strategy-wise.” Bonte said. “Otherwise, I just go in the warm-up and see what their weak points are and what they’re good at.”
Bonte was born in Los Angeles, but spent most of her life in Italy and France, before joining the Bulls in 2010.
She speaks Italian, French, Spanish, and English, and enjoys some aspects of the French tennis culture.
“I enjoy playing on hard courts and red clay, like at the French Open.” Bonte said.
The well-cultured Bonte started playing tennis when she was five, and looks up to a couple of European stars.
“I used to look up to Henin, because her game is complete,” Bonte said. “Right now I look up to Schiavone because I like her style.”
Bonte’s complete game has been utilized more in singles than doubles play this season, but she was a successful doubles player throughout the 2010-11 season.
“They’re sort of moving the doubles around,” said Bonte. “They don’t know which players do well together and we’re struggling with that.
“Right now I’m not playing, but hopefully in the future.”
Bonte has been a great addition to the Bulls throughout her first two seasons with USF, something that has been noticed by head coach Moreno.
“The girls get along. The chemistry in unbelievable, and she’s definitely a good girl.”