Safdar, Salazar thrive as doubles team for Syracuse, start season 2-0

first_img Published on January 15, 2015 at 12:06 am Contact Kevin: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+ Komal Safdar and Valeria Salazar may have only begun playing as a doubles team recently, but their familiarity with each other’s games is far from the beginning stages.Each one possesses a different strong suit and it not only enhances their own individual play, but also that of the other.“She sets me up very easily from the baseline,” Safdar said. “She’ll hit her forehand weapon. I’ll be at the net and just put the ball away.”Safdar’s strength at the net and Salazar’s proficiency on the baseline are contrasting skills, but ones that have allowed them to adapt to each other despite only being paired since the fall. Their complementing abilities are part of what make them the aggressive force that has earned a No. 59 Intercollegiate Tennis Association ranking, various accolades in the fall and a 2-0 start to the 2015 season for No. 68 Syracuse.“I think a lot of it has to do with confidence,” head coach Younes Limam said of the pair’s success to start the 2015 season. “I think the fact that they played a lot of matches during the fall together and they had some success, I think that definitely helped them move into the spring season.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSafdar and Salazar won their first match of the season by a score of 6-4 against Florida Gulf Coast, and then proceeded to win their second match by a score of 6-2 against No. 39 South Florida that secured the doubles point.Limam said Safdar and Salazar’s match against FGCU propelled them going into their match against USF. There, they continued to display the effective balance that their contrasting styles provide.Safdar acknowledged that balance, and added that Salazar’s ability to approach the net and have success makes the pair much more lethal.“The other thing is she’s very comfortable at the net, and I’m very comfortable at the net also,” Safdar said, “so what makes us a great team is our ability to attack the net and really put the pressure on other players because both of us have good hands at the net.”They both aren’t always on top of their game during matches, but they account for what the other may lack on a certain day. Since both Safdar and Salazar can play all areas of the court, they are able to adjust to various situations that may arise during matches.Limam said their versatility provides an intimidation factor that has been growing since winning their first doubles tournament in the fall. It now progressed into a seamless duo that is climbing the national rankings.Said Limam: “You just don’t know what to expect from them, and it’s a good problem to have as a coach, that’s for sure.” Commentslast_img