Top 10 Tennis Trick Shots
Tennis is a fiercely competitive and extremely fast-paced sport, with players having mere seconds to think between shots. Somehow, in the thick of the fray, the players listed below have pulled off some of the most ambitious and magnificent tennis shots ever seen.
Gael Monfils has a penchant for very athletic tennis. He’s known for his ability to cover the entire court, regularly sliding on splayed feet to reach otherwise impossible shots. This technique even earned him the moniker “Sliderman”. Monfils is also renowned for shots like the above, launching himself skywards and pummeling the shot at his opponent at breakneck speed.
Roger Federer is a name synonymous with tennis. Federer held the position as the world’s number 1 player for 302 weeks, between 2004 and 2008, and many consider him the greatest player ever. He has become famous, or perhaps infamous, for his regular use of the “tweener”, a shot played between the legs that’s perfect for fooling one’s opponent.
Australian-born Olivia Rogowska may not be of the same tennis caliber as, say, Serena Williams, but this round-the-net shot from her is one the hardest shots in the game to pull off. What makes it even more impressive is that she pulls it off in a doubles match, where there’s even less space that is out of your opponents’ reach.
Bulgarian tennis hero Grigor Dimitrov is the only Bulgarian to have reached an ATP final in singles, in 2013. Before playing professionally, he was ranked the world’s number one junior player, winning the Boy’s Singles titles at the 2008 Wimbledon Championships and US Open. Here we see him pulling off a cheeky behind-the-back shot, an even more impressive and ambitious shot than Federer’s signature ”tweener”.
We’ve seen Federer’s “tweener” and Dimitrov’s bend-over shot. Now take a minute to gawk at Fabrice Santoro’s unbelievable backwards, between-the-legs lob. The look on his face after he pulls the shot off suggests he’s as surprised as anyone else that he actually scored the point.
Serbian pro Janko Tipsarevic enjoyed his highest position in the ATP rankings in April of 2012, when he was ranked 8th. Although he has since dropped to 9th position, he’s still able to pull off shots like this incredible inverted backhand, which Djokovic called the “most memorable shot ever seen”.
The cheeky Chilean Marcelo Rios was the first Latin American player to reach the number 1 position in the ATP singles rankings – he held the spot for six weeks in 1998. Unfortunately, he had to retire from the sport prematurely in 2004 due to back injury. He was an exciting and sometimes arrogant player, as you can tell from his comment to the official after his winning shot. So confident was Rios about this shot that he began walking away from the net before he was awarded the point.
Whether or not this shot by Richard Gasquet was intended, the chances of it happening at all are incredibly slim. The ball bounced off the inside of the net post, winning Gasquet the point – much to his, the crowd’s and the commentators’ surprise. He would anyway have won the 2005 Nottingham Singles Final, but this remains a once-in-a-lifetime shot.
Never before and never since has a shot like this been seen in the game. In the 1996 Senior’s tour, Jimmy Connors threw his racket several meters into the air in order to reach an otherwise impossible lob over his head. Not only does he hit the ball, but he returns it unbeatably and wins the point. As impressive is how he catches the racket after the shot and does a little victory dance. What class!
As of February 2013, Novak Djokovic is seated as the ATP world number 1 in tennis. Known for his aggressive baseline play, he also pulls off some stunning placement shots with his backhand, which is regarded as one of the best in the game. One of his greatest tricks yet, however, has been accidentally hitting a pretty young ball girl in the face and still managing to get a hug out of her afterwards.