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Beyond the Baseline

2012 BTB Awards: Shots of the Year

The BTB Awards are our look back at the best — and worst — of the tennis season. Today we try to pick our jaws off the floor as we relive some of the best shots of the year. 

[2012 IN REVIEW: Report Card | Surprises | Meltdowns]

Ten Best ATP Shots of 2012:

1. Roger Federer saves set point with a no-look pass: Augh, you're too old to play tennis. Retire now, would you?

*****

2. Grigor Dimitrov's behind-the-back half-volley: They don't call him "Baby Fed" for nothin'.

*****

3. Rafael Nadal wrong-foots Roger: You have to be a special player to hit the hot shot in a rally that includes Federer's hitting a sharp-angle overhead backhand. Needless to say, Rafa's a special player.

*****

4. Novak Djokovic's tweener/drop shot combo in the Shanghai final: The tweener is all fine and dandy, but the audacity of Djokovic's feathered drop shot is what gets me every time.

*****

5. Bob Bryan goes tweener at the U.S .Open: At 5-5 in the second-set tiebreaker, Bob hits a defensive tweener and follows it up with a screaming inside-out forehand to earn set point.

*****

6. Stanislas Wawrinka out-Feds The Fed: All those years playing in Federer's shadow pay off, as Wawrinka breaks the monopoly on Swiss hot shots.

*****

7. Jerzy Janowicz's no-look dropper: If you watched the Paris Masters you know there were a slew of ridiculous Janowicz drop shots that could have made this list. But this stab off a rifled return down the line still gets me out of my seat.

*****

8. Janko Tipsarevic's backhand zinger: Tipsy gets low to dig out a backhand pass that no one saw coming.

*****

9. Gael Monfils hits a trick shot ... and actually wins the rally: We didn't get to see much of Monfils this year, what with his injury woes. But the guy delivered in Metz with this leaping, between-the-legs hit that eventually won him the point.

*****

10. Sergei Bubka's no-look overhead smash: The point starts at the 42-second mark.

*****

Ten Best WTA Shots of 2012:

1. Serena Williams shows off her speed: Serena left Victoria Azarenka in disbelief when she tracked down an impossible dropper to win the point.

*****

2. Agnieszka Radwanska's point construction on display: I've been around a lot of people who say they don't understand the appeal of the crafty Pole's game. Here's Exhibit A of why I love watching her.

*****

3. Radwanska shows her touch: Aaaaand Exhibit B.

*****

4. Maria Sharapova goes lobbin' in the rain: As the rain fell in Rome, Sharapova knocks a perfect lob over Li Na.

*****

5. Serena's mastery of the blue clay: Serena again shows off her movement, going wide to nail a forehand down the line against Azarenka in the Madrid final. You know it's a good shot when Serena struts.

*****

6. Petra Kvitova gets her Navratilova on: How about the touch on this pick-up volley in New Haven?

*****

7. Serena drops four straight aces in the Wimbledon final: Serena found herself in a third set against Radwanska in the Wimbledon final and wrenched back control of the match with this four-ace game.

*****

8. Laura Robson goes down the line against Kim Clijsters: The is the WTA equivalent of Tipsy's backhand-down-the-line dig against Ferrer above. At 5-5 in the second set, Robson nails her lefty forehand down the line to put Clijsters one point away from retirement. The point starts at 15:52 in the video.

*****

9. Coco Vandeweghe goes boom-boom in Stanford: It's shots like these off her forehand side that make you believe in her future.

*****

10. Marion Bartoli clubs one down the line: Bartoli was the woman who ended Azarenka's 26-match winning streak, in Miami, thanks in large part to shots like this.

*****

Did we miss your favorite shot of the year? Let a message in the comments.

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