Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered: Flavia Pennetta’s Desert Hot Shot
During her continued mastery of Samantha Stosur, Italy’s Flavia Pennetta hit a shot that left the Stadium 2 crowd spellbound.
The defending champion was up a set on the Aussie and looking to was already putting pressure on to start the second. Hitting well from the back of the court, Pennetta quickly took control of the rally as she moved into the net.
What the former doubles No. 1 did next will leave you breathless. #clickbait
Stretching for a forehand volley, Pennetta put such backspin on the ball that, after kissing Stosur’s side of the net, it corkscrewed back over the net to her own. The Italian went on to break serve that very game, and eventually book a date with No. 2 seed Maria Sharapova with a straight set victory (and sixth consecutive win) over the former US Open champion.
Rare as the shot may be, quite a few players have managed to achieve the chupacabra of change-ups. Check out a collection of similar shots that left opponents bewitched, bothered, and bewildered:
Pennetta has yet to drop a set at the site of the greatest career triumph, and has an impressively even 2-2 head-to-head with last year’s French Open winner, including wins in their last two hard court matches. At 33 years of age, shots like that perfectly encapsulate the underrated Italian’s casual all-court craft.
What did you think of Pennetta’s hot shot? Sound off in the comments!
I was there and I saw it happen. I’d love to see it again, but the WTA has confiscated it from you and won’t show it on their own site. The great thing was that she took the ball out of the air to create this magical shot.