WTA Best of 2018: Points of the year

The third part of the WTA Best of 2018 series on Moo’s Tennis Blog is a selection of the best points of the year. I’ve picked out 20 of my favourite rallies from 2018 – again it was very difficult! Please feel free to share any of your own favourites in the comments section.  In case you missed it, part 2 of the 2018 review highlighted some of the best hot shots of the season.

Best points 2016: Click here

Best points 2017: Click here

Best points 2018: ⬇️

1. Wozniacki-Fett (Australian Open, R2)

Kicking off this year’s post with a point that I got to see live! This was a thrilling match and pivotal in Wozniacki’s run to her first Slam title as she saved match points to progress. What a point though linked below from Fett who looks almost in disbelief at the end of this point. Managing to outrally Wozniacki is very impressive 👏.

2. Hsieh-Radwanska (Australian Open, R3)

Watching back these rallies brought a smile to my face. Tennis at its absolute finest. Sad to hear about Radwanska retiring today who would be worthy of an entire post for all the hot shots she has produced throughout her career. All the best for the future, Aga!

3. Mertens-Cornet (Australian Open, R3)

It all began with Mertens playing French cricket at the start of the rally to get Cornet’s return back into play. Great point.

4. Kerber-Hsieh (Australian Open, R4)

Picking one point from this match doesn’t really do it justice. This particular point demonstrates why Hsieh can be lethal on her day with her magnificent use of angles.

5. Halep-Kerber (Australian Open, SF)

I think this is my favourite of the lot. An incredible point between Halep and Kerber who were throwing the kitchen sink at each other and then some. Kerber’s winning shot with THAT angle is insane!

6. Wozniacki-Halep (Australian Open, Final)

This year’s Australian Open just kept providing gifts. Tournament of the year in my opinion. Wozniacki’s cross-court backhand on the defence in this rally is also worthy of the hot shots post. Probably the best shot of her career considering the magnitude of the moment.

7. Sharapova-Niculescu (Doha, R1)

Sharapova playing Niculescu at her own game and winning with three (count them THREE) slices is mega. I still howl every time I watch this point back! 🤣

8. Kasatkina-Konta (Dubai, R2)

Completely forgot about this match until I revisited some of my saved links! Konta couldn’t have done much more with her depth in this rally but Kasatkina’s defence, variety and boldness on the final shot with the backhand down-the-line was just too good. And all on set point deep in a second set tiebreak!

9. Vickery-Muguruza (Indian Wells, R2)

Fond memories of watching this match back. Shame it didn’t end on a winner but fully deserving of recognition. A bruising rally and Vickery at her finest.

10. V.Williams-Sevastova (Indian Wells, R4)

Super point that rather accurately portrays Venus’s fighting spirit and tenacity on court.

11. Putintseva-Stephens (Nurnberg, R1)

Pinball at the net, a classy winner from Putintseva and a classic celebration. What more could you want?!

12. Halep-Stephens (French Open, Final)

Pretty much the point that crowned Halep as the French Open champion. Stunning.

13. Wozniacki-Kerber (Eastbourne, SF)

Wozniacki saved match point on this rally and went onto win this match and the title. I thought at the time that it could be a bit of a crushing loss for Kerber. Spoiler alert – she was fine.

14. Putintseva-Linette (Wimbledon, R1)

I’m willing to overlook one of Putintseva’s shots looking out on the baseline because the drama of this match and this rally on match point was EVERYTHING.

15. Kerber-Kasatkina (Wimbledon, QF)

Kerber and Kasatkina feature heavily in this year’s point posts. The final game of their quarter-final was the best game of the year and this was the stand-out point. Watching back points out of context of the match is never quite the same but this one still feels special and I remember screaming the house down.

16. Barty-Cornet (Montreal, R3)

It has to be a special point to be included when ending with an error. Super defence from Barty 👏.

17. Stephens-Halep (Montreal, Final)

Very difficult to pick out just one point from this match. The Montreal final was one of my favourite matches of the year.

18. Wang Qiang-Muguruza (Hong Kong, SF)

Wang Qiang was one of the stars of this year’s Asian Swing. Love, love, lovedddd this rally in what was a gem of a match.

19. Bencic-Yastremska (Luxembourg, SF)

Yastremska’s court coverage is exceptional as she hits at least four shots out of camera view! One of my favourite points of the year.

20.Stephens-Bertens (Singapore, RR)

Singapore’s slow hard courts required patient and thoughtful point construction. Enjoyed this point between Stephens and Bertens in one of the better matches from the WTA Finals.

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8 thoughts on “WTA Best of 2018: Points of the year

  1. Thanks for all the work involved to put together these year end posts.

    No. 19 Benic- Yas.
    I still think this is the best fixed camera view, even if a few of the shots are out of camera range. The view of a front row type camera shot is more exciting than the third tier camera view.

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  2. Radwanska
    Sad to see The Rad retiring, as she was one of my favorite players. She was an amazing player. A top ten player for about 10 years despite not having an athletic body. The Rad won with her mind and racket control. Because of her knowledge of the game, she knew where her opponent would hit the ball, which gave her a step edge in her return shot.

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    • I’m also sad about Aga’s going. I had a pretty good idea it was coming but was still shaken by the news.

      I don’t know if we’ll ever see her like again. She was to tennis what the late Alex Higgins was to snooker; she’d attempt shots other players could only dream of and pull them off time after time. Time and again, I’d see a shot of Aga’s and think, “Did I just see that?” closely followed by “How on earth did she do it?”

      I think she’s got a strong claim (along with Elena Dementieva and perhapos Helena Sukova) to being the best player in women’s tennis who never won a slam. I hoped she’d win Wimbledon one day but it wasn’t to be.

      She’s been criticised for her often spiky and awkward personality, but she was clearly an introvert (and an intelligent one) in a world which often didn’t really suit her and which she obviously found shallow and superficial (she famously hated all the razzmatazz of the US Open, for a start), even though it more than paid her rent. Sometimes, one sensed she’d rather be on her own somewhere with a good book than out doing the meet and greets that are a tennis player’s lot nowadays.

      Still, as Heather Watson said at least we’ve still got the highlight reels.

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      • Aww nice words, Graham. Surely must be up there for one of the best not to win a Slam. I wasn’t aware she had been criticised, she always came across as very warm off the court and is clearly very well liked off the court from all the messages she got on social media from other players. It’s always sad to see players retire. Lucie going in Melbs is going to be emotional!

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