Interviews for the SAPSASA Centenary publication – Todd Perry
Todd Perry, former top 20 doubles specialist, reflects on his experiences with SAPSASA, and life as a professional tennis star.
Now retired from the grind of the men’s professional tennis tour, Adelaide’s Todd Perry may not be a household name, but in Australian tennis circles he is remembered as one of our most successful double specialists of the last decade.
Perry achived a career high doubles ranking of 16th in the world, coupled with six ATP doubles titles and four Grand Slam quarter finals appearences, this is one impressive career.
Perry recalled his motivation for playing in the SAPSASA carnival in Sydney in 1988 to be a simple one: “I was number one in the state in the 12s, and that was just what you did.”
Perry ’s memory of 1988, like mine, is starting to fade. He remembers only a few details from back then of his trip to Sydney; little wonder, considering the dizzying heights he achieved in his professional career.
One of those memories though, is a breathtaking one. “I remember my teammate, Luke Smith, beating Mark Philippoussis [future US Open, Wimbledon finalist, and Davis Cup hero] 6-0, Perry said with a laugh. “I remember that!”
This story makes me wonder; when you watch this generation of SAPSASA players, will any of them go on to achieve the lofty heights of a Mark Philippoussis or a Todd Perry?
The enduring nature of the friendships that were nurtured during Perry’s time with SAPSASA remain to this day, “That’s the thing isn’t it? You just…stay mates with all those blokes forever,” He said.
The truth of his statement is backed up when Todd tells me he was best man at the wedding one of his old SAPSASA teammates.
Perry ’s advice to any juniors wondering whether to dive into the SAPSASA experience: “Do it! Just play!”