10 Most Spectacular Diving Shots at the Net in Tennis History

Kevin Pacelli@kjp0205Correspondent IMarch 14, 2012

10 Most Spectacular Diving Shots at the Net in Tennis History

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    One of the most impressive shots a tennis player can display is a dive at the net.

    The agility, reflexes and slight bit of luck required make dive shots one of the most exciting aspects of the sport.

    Although they are rare, the ones that we do see never disappoint us.

    Here's a look at some of the best diving shots at the net in tennis history.

10: Marat Safin Lays His Body out After Long Point

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    This point, which occurred during the 2006 U.S. Open, was impressive enough even without the diving finish.

    Both Tommy Haas and Marat Safin battle it out for a long while, lunging and reaching balls that seem unlikely to the viewer.

    Just as Haas thinks he has won it with a one-handed backhand down the line, Safin dives and pulls off the incredible winner at the net.

    It wasn't the most beautiful shot; in another situation, his opponent could have easily returned it for a winner of his own, with Safin still recovering.

    Because Haas was nowhere near the ball, though, it worked out.

    Definitely a shot to remember from Flushing Meadows.

9: Tsonga Outplays Murray in an Acrobatic Point

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    The lead up to the dive is what makes this point so special.

    First, we see Jo-Wilfried Tsonga smash the ball in the air. Andy Murray returns with an impressive shot between the legs, but his showmanship is outmatched when Tsonga delivers the diving volley winner.

    An extraordinary point from both sides of the net, but Tsonga's dive proved to be more successful in the end.

8: Drop-and-Roll from Mirnyi

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    This point between Max Mirnyi and Nicolas Kiefer demonstrates finesse from both sides.

    Kiefer first sprints down a ball that could have easily been a winner from Mirnyi, and proceeds to hit a beautiful cross-court backhand.

    Just as it was looking like a winner, Mirnyi lunges with his entire body to make a miraculous reach.

    His roll after landing only makes the show better.

7: Marc Gicquel Wins with Style

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    Marc Gicquel plays traditional tennis with a little extra flair in this point.

    He is able to win it with only three shots: the serve, the approach forehand and, of course, the flawlessly executed dive.

    Gicquel hits the one-handed backhand volley in the air for the winner before rolling smoothly to a standing position.

    And he makes it look easy.

6: Roddick Dives and Recovers to Win Point

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    Andy Roddick has been the fan-favorite among Americans for years now, and he was certainly able to please the crowd with this point.

    Not only does he fully extend his body for the dive; he also manages to get back up in time for the put-away after the return from Marcos Baghdatis.

    The thrilled reaction from the crowd shows just how impressive Andy's work really is in this point. 

5: Brown Tumbles Flawlessly

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    In this point, Dustin Brown finishes off his opponent in a quick three-shot rally.

    When his opponent attempts to return it past him at the net, he launches himself into the air, hits the volley winner and then seamlessly somersaults back up to his feet. 

    Not a bad way to win a point and tie up the tie-break.

4: Becker Tactically Places the Ball While Airborne

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    What sets this dive volley apart from some of the others is that Boris Becker really seemed to have solid control of the shot.

    Instead of just throwing his racket out in desperation to send an easy lob over the net, he strategically places it in the farthest-possible spot from his opponent, Ivan Lendl.

    That, plus the fact that he goes airborne with his body parallel to the ground, makes this shot legendary among dives in tennis.

3: Mahut Wins Point with Agility

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    The sheer speed and agility demonstrated by Nicolas Mahut in this point is stunning.

    It starts with his quick reaction to what should have been a sure put-away for Roddick.

    Instead of giving up on the point, he readies himself and sends the dive volley over the net.

    As if that isn't enough, he is somehow able to get back up and dive in the opposite direction for Roddick's return, which ends up hitting the top of the net.

    His second attempt turned out to be unnecessary, but it showed just how impressive his reflexes are.

    All in all, a phenomenal point from the Frenchman.

2: Becker Dives Twice for One Ball

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    When initially viewing this clip, confusion comes before amazement.

    Becker dives for the volley, but he hits the ground while the ball is still above him.

    That's because Stefan Edberg's return had inconveniently bounced off the tape of the net, accounting for Becker's misjudgement.

    That doesn't stop him, though.

    As soon as he realizes what had happened, he leaps again from his position on the ground to reach the ball and send it over the net for a winner.

1: Astonishing Shot from Leander Paes

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    An explanation for this one is practically unnecessary.

    What should have been an impossible return turned out to be an unbelievable shot from Leander Paes. While completely in the air, his flick of the wrist sent a powerful topspin shot to his opponent's side.

    The shot really speaks for itself, and undoubtedly tops the list as the greatest dive shot in tennis history.


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