The 10 Greatest Shots in Tennis
There are many great shots, players, courts in the world of tennis. Federer, Nadal, Murray, Del Potro, Tsonga, Monfils Djokovic—the list really is endless.
So of all the players in the world, and all the shots possible to be played with a racket and ball, who possesses the best shot---and what is it?
No. 10 Roger Federer—First Serve
Never the fastest, but definitely deceptive, elegant, ruthless, and immensely hard to read, the master key to the wonderful Federer serve is the similarity in ball toss, no matter the intended target of the serve. His back always turned, the toss as elegant as swan lake itself. Then one swoosh and bang, Roger Federer fires down another howitzer in every corner of the service box.
Fact: Roger's fastest ever serve came down at 135mph against Tommy Haas in The Australian Open in 2006.
No. 9 Fernando Gonzales—Forehand
Fernando Gonzales' forehand is the shot that, just one month ago, ripped World No. 3 Andy Murray to shreds on Phillipe Chatrier. Gonzales has always been noted as unrealized potential, and nowadays is no more than just a big banana skin in the Grand Slam draws.
He owes much of the good reputation he has to his massive forehand. Down the line or inside-out, you name it, Gonzales has hit a winner there.
It's a shame about all the potential wasted from the fiery Chilean.
Fact: Fernando Gonzales has two Olympic medals in the mens singles: bronze in 2004 and silver in 2008. His biggest achievement remains his gold in the Athens 2004 games, winning the mens doubles for Chile with Nicolas Massu.
No. 8 Andy Murray—Top Spin Lob
Murray, oh how I don't like him. The only reason he is supported by the English is because our own players are too lousy to be respected themselves.
Anyhow Murray can hit some extremely good shots at times, and although his Top-Spin Lob may be underused and something for a exhibition circumstances, it is a delight to watch when it comes off.
Full credit goes to Murray, however, for not blaming an apparent thigh injury on his Semi Final loss to Andy Roddick, and for having a brilliant shot in his top spin lob.
Fact: Andy Murray is Scottish. Wimbledon is the all-England club.
No. 7 Roger Federer—Backhand Slice
R-Fed's backhand was always known as the weak link, the chink in the shining knight's armor. Some still believe in this statement being true but the slice from Federer's reverse wing, is working just fine.
A key ingredient throughout his career, it has recently propelled him to certain greatness on the red of Chatrier last month. It developed from a solely defensive shot, to a time earning return, to the mother of all drop shots. Just ask Juan Martin Del Potro, speaking of the big Argentine.
Fact: Roger Federer never used to like hitting drop shots,, as his mental psyche told him it was admitting defeat to his opponent. He has recently changed his mind over the shot and it has been a brilliant decision.
No. 6 Juan Martin Del Potro—Wide Serve and Cross-court Forehand
I know, not technically a shot but just imagine: You stand 30 feet from Del Potro, he fires a 135mph serve at a ridiculous angle to the widest possible corner, and you somehow get the ball back in court. Well done. Oh no, Del Potro is on like a shot and crashes a forehand to the far side. That, then, crashes off the court with all the grace and guile of an A1 Fighter Jet.
Yeah that's right. Game, Set, and Match Del Potro.
Fact: Del Potro is the only player to ever win his first four tournaments in succession. He claimed victories in Stuttgart, Kitzbuhel, Los Angeles and Washington DC in late 2008.
No. 5 Novak Djokovic—Down the line Backhand
It has not been a good season for Djoker so far, yet still his favorite shot remains an enviable weapon in world tennis. Enough said.
Fact: Novak is the youngest player in the open era to have reached the Semi-Finals in Melbourne, Paris, London, and New York.
No. 4 Rafael Nadal—Backhand
You were waiting for the King of Clay to make an appearance on this list weren't you?
No. 4 is a respectable entry for any player's favouite shot, but this shot is one that Rafa has had to work his Mallorcan buttocks off to perfect, and perfect it he has. So much so, that nowadays Rafa is considered to have no weak-side, hence the No. 1 ranking before Wimbledon Final.
The Spaniard, with more strength than all the bulls in Pamplona, will be back, and the world had better watch out. Federer vs Nadal will return and the world will shake.
Fact: Rafael Nadal received the best tennis birthday present ever. Upon turning 19, he defeated World No. 1, Roger Federer, in the French Open Semi-Finals. Now wrap that up and put a bow on it!
No. 3 Andy Roddick—First Serve
155 mph, whoa mama! Get that back!
Fact: Roddick is known for frequent outbursts against umpires on the court. His most famous quote is to umpire Emmanuel Joseph in his Australian Open 2008 match: "You're an idiot! Stay in school kids, or you'll end up being an umpire."
No. 2 Rafael Nadal—Forehand
Now we're talking. No wonder he's up there with the best. Two entries in this list, clocking in at four and two isn't bad, now is it?
Perhaps Rafael Nadal's Top-spin forehand is the most devastating shot to be hit on a clay court, hence his immense brick dust success. The only reason his forehand doesn't win this list is because its impact lacks on Grass and Hard Courts. Unlike...
Fact: Rafa holds the longest single surface winning streak in history: a massive 81 matches, unbeaten on, you guessed it, clay!
No. 1 Roger Federer—Forehand
Come on. Be honest. You knew this was going to be up there.
Yes, the ever declining wins this list with the shot that was once described as a liquid whip. I much prefer the poetic cannon approach myself.
Good ol' Rog can do anything with this shot, and most probably even stuff that he doesn't even know himself.
So we salute you Rog, now 15-time Grand Slam winner on all surfaces and New World No 1., but more importantly, we salute your magnificent Forehand.
Fact: Roger is only the second player to regain the No. 1 Ranking in ATP Ranking history. The other player was Ivan Llendl.