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2012 BTB Awards: Shots of the Year

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The BTB Awards are our look back at the best — and worst — of the tennis season. Today we try to pick our jaws off the floor as we relive some of the best shots of the year. 

[2012 IN REVIEW: Report Card | Surprises | Meltdowns]

Ten Best ATP Shots of 2012:

1. Roger Federer saves set point with a no-look pass: Augh, you’re too old to play tennis. Retire now, would you?


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2. Grigor Dimitrov’s behind-the-back half-volley: They don’t call him “Baby Fed” for nothin’.


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3. Rafael Nadal wrong-foots Roger: You have to be a special player to hit the hot shot in a rally that includes Federer’s hitting a sharp-angle overhead backhand. Needless to say, Rafa’s a special player.


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4. Novak Djokovic’s tweener/drop shot combo in the Shanghai final: The tweener is all fine and dandy, but the audacity of Djokovic’s feathered drop shot is what gets me every time.


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5. Bob Bryan goes tweener at the U.S .Open: At 5-5 in the second-set tiebreaker, Bob hits a defensive tweener and follows it up with a screaming inside-out forehand to earn set point.


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6. Stanislas Wawrinka out-Feds The Fed: All those years playing in Federer’s shadow pay off, as Wawrinka breaks the monopoly on Swiss hot shots.


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7. Jerzy Janowicz’s no-look dropper: If you watched the Paris Masters you know there were a slew of ridiculous Janowicz drop shots that could have made this list. But this stab off a rifled return down the line still gets me out of my seat.


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8. Janko Tipsarevic’s backhand zinger: Tipsy gets low to dig out a backhand pass that no one saw coming.


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9. Gael Monfils hits a trick shot … and actually wins the rally: We didn’t get to see much of Monfils this year, what with his injury woes. But the guy delivered in Metz with this leaping, between-the-legs hit that eventually won him the point.


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10. Sergei Bubka’s no-look overhead smash: The point starts at the 42-second mark.


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Ten Best WTA Shots of 2012:

1. Serena Williams shows off her speed: Serena left Victoria Azarenka in disbelief when she tracked down an impossible dropper to win the point.


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2. Agnieszka Radwanska’s point construction on display: I’ve been around a lot of people who say they don’t understand the appeal of the crafty Pole’s game. Here’s Exhibit A of why I love watching her.


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3. Radwanska shows her touch: Aaaaand Exhibit B.


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4. Maria Sharapova goes lobbin’ in the rain: As the rain fell in Rome, Sharapova knocks a perfect lob over Li Na.


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5. Serena’s mastery of the blue clay: Serena again shows off her movement, going wide to nail a forehand down the line against Azarenka in the Madrid final. You know it’s a good shot when Serena struts.


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6. Petra Kvitova gets her Navratilova on: How about the touch on this pick-up volley in New Haven?


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7. Serena drops four straight aces in the Wimbledon final: Serena found herself in a third set against Radwanska in the Wimbledon final and wrenched back control of the match with this four-ace game.


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8. Laura Robson goes down the line against Kim Clijsters: The is the WTA equivalent of Tipsy’s backhand-down-the-line dig against Ferrer above. At 5-5 in the second set, Robson nails her lefty forehand down the line to put Clijsters one point away from retirement. The point starts at 15:52 in the video.


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9. Coco Vandeweghe goes boom-boom in Stanford: It’s shots like these off her forehand side that make you believe in her future.


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10. Marion Bartoli clubs one down the line: Bartoli was the woman who ended Azarenka’s 26-match winning streak, in Miami, thanks in large part to shots like this.


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Did we miss your favorite shot of the year? Let a message in the comments.

  • Published On Nov 28, 2012
  • 1 comments
    Playtime_Engine
    Playtime_Engine

    I don't get all the hype behind Fed's shot the number 1 on your list, I'd argue that far more impressive was the volley and the way he got to the net sliding on a hardcourt. As it happened it was a routine crosscourt forehand winner having come to the net, the percentage play as Djokovic could not cover crosscourt. I am a Fed fan but I must say this isn't gonna make the Top 10 of Roger's shots this year, never mind the top 20 of his career. The only thing that's great is he gambled by coming to the net midpoint and had to stretch but end of the day it was clear that he'd go crosscourt. Nole didn't even applaud a great shot like he normally does, he just thought 'damn, should have covered crosscourt...'