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Virtual Open Tennis is one of only two tennis titles available for the Sega Saturn. You won't find a tennis game by Sega Sports or EA Sports on the Saturn, only Break Point Tennis by Ocean and this game by Acclaim. Though that should come as no surprise as tennis videogames in general are not numerous in comparison to the number of other games that represent each major sport.
In Virtual Open Tennis you will not find any real life tennis players as no licensing of any kind is featured. There are 10 characters to choose from, all of them males. Each character has a statistical sheet in the instruction manual that includes their home country, age, height, weight, backhand style and a description of their strengths. Characters differ in their backhand styles as some use a double-handed backhand while others use a one-handed backhand. They also each have an overall style of play such as being a ground stroker or a serve and volleyer.
Modes of play include: Exhibition, Championship and Training. Exhibition is your standard single game. This mode can be played as singles or doubles and up to four human players can play at the same time via the use of a multi-player adapter. Doubles can still be played with less than four users as characters can be placed under computer control. Other options in this mode are the number of sets to be played (1, 3 or 5) and the type of court to be used (lawn, hard or clay). Championship mode is divided into two tournaments, the Challenger's Cup Virtual Open for beginners and the Imagineer World Championship for advanced players. In this mode no options can be altered and all matches are played as singles. Training is divided into four sections: service, return, smash and can game. Service, return and smash each let users practice their abilities in those areas. The can game is a competition that determines a players accuracy. Players serve the ball and attempt to hit the aluminum cans set up on the other side of the net. This mode can be played with more than one player and the number of rounds, type of court and bonuses can selected.
Two other options that can be set from the main menu that will impact each mode of play are instant replays and markers. Instant replays can be turned on or off; if turned on a replay will occur after each point. Markers can be turned on in order to show where the ball will land on its first bounce as well as the second bounce. The use of markers is primarily a way to help beginners judge the path of the ball so that they know where to go in order to return it. ~ Jonathan Sutyak, All Game Guide