The second part of the WTA Best of 2018 series on Moo’s Tennis Blog is a selection of hot shots from the season. Trying to narrow this list down to 20 has been a challenge! Please share any favourites that I have missed in the comments section. In case you missed it, I kicked off the WTA Best of 2018 series on Monday with handshakes and hugs.
Hot shots 2016: Click here
Hot shots 2017: Click here
Hot shots 2018: ⬇️
1. Angelique Kerber (vs. Hsieh, Australian Open R4)
I’m a sucker for an around-the-net-post winner 😍 . This was seriously special from Kerber in what was a match of hot shot rallies with Hsieh Su-Wei.
2. Daria Kasatkina (vs. Konta, Dubai R2)
This is the first of four Kasatkina hot shots that have made my list. Kasatkina is practically out of shot when she makes contact for this glorious forehand passing shot winner. It was PLUM on the line!
3. Garbiñe Muguruza (vs. Kasatkina, Dubai SF)
I’ve always thought Muguruza is at her best coming forward, even if the volleys can be haphazard at times. I was impressed with this duo of volleys, neither easy, to put away Kasatkina in this rally.
4. Caroline Dolehide (vs. Halep, Indian Wells R3)
What a way to seal a 6-1 set (!) against the world number one. Dolehide’s form dipped towards the end of 2018 but there is a lot to get excited about with the young American’s game.
5. Daria Kasatkina (vs. Wozniacki, Indian Wells R4)
I adore how Kasatkina whips the forehand for this down-the-line winner. The Russian player will always be one to watch at Indian Wells with its unique conditions, almost clay-like, for the rest of her career.
6. Daria Kasatkina (vs. Kerber, Indian Wells QF)
Dasha again with a remarkable shot! This was probably the best match I saw Kasatkina play all year and shows what she is truly capable of when she is feeling confident and in the zone.
7. Caroline Wozniacki (vs. Puig, Indian Wells R2)
A cracking chase to a Puig drop shot from Wozniacki.
8. Carla Suárez Navarro (vs. Strycova, Madrid R1)
Suárez Navarro always saves her best tennis for Madrid. When she goes after the backhand, it is a delight to watch!
9. Petra Kvitova (vs. Pliskova, Madrid SF)
There were a couple of crackers from Kvitova in this match and the shot linked below was my favourite. Kvitova hits a backhand outside of the tramlines and across the highest part of the net for this sensational winner.
10. Maria Sharapova (vs. Cibulkova, Rome R2)
A stunning cross-court winner from Sharapova.
11. Aleksandra Krunic (vs. Vandeweghe, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, SF)
Just look at Krunic’s position when she hits this winner! 😲
12. Petra Kvitova (vs. Rybarikova, Birmingham final)
Look at the wheels on Petra!
13. Daria Kasatkina (vs. Kerber, Wimbledon QF)
Kasatkina’s jumping backhand is one of my favourite shots in tennis. When she turns it into a drop shot, absolute magic!
14. Venus Williams (vs. Watson, San Jose R2)
A thrilling no-look backhand winner from Venus.
15. Svetlana Kuznetsova (vs. Svitolina, Cincy R2)
Special shot from Sveta!
16. Caroline Garcia (vs. Azarenka, Cincy R2)
So good from Garcia that it got the racquet clap from Azarenka.
17. Ash Barty (vs. Muchova, US Open R3)
Another around-the-net-post winner from Ash Barty and probably the best of the lot. Muchova’s overhead shot was pretty damn good!
18. Sloane Stephens (vs. Mertens, US Open R4)
A classic point to demonstrate Stephens’s athleticism as she chases down a Mertens drop shot at the net before getting back at the baseline for the passing shot winner.
19. Anastasija Sevastova (vs. various opponents, US Open)
The Sevastova drop shot was majestic in New York. The Latvian player spun webs around two of best movers on tour, Svitolina and Stephens. Number one is best of the lot and secured Sevastova the vital break that saw her successfully serve her way into a first Slam semi-final.
20. Ons Jabeur (vs. Kontaveit and Kasatkina, Msocow QF and F)
Finishing with a pair of hot shots from Jabeur. Both insane pick-ups, particularly the second one in the final against Kasatkina. Worthy shots to finish this year’s post!