INDIAN WELLS, CA, USA - With the WTA’s queen of hotshots, Agnieszka Radwanska, announcing her retirement last year, tennis fans have been left wondering who will step up to hit the crazy slices, dropshots and tweeners that won her endless WTA Shot of the Year awards.
Last night at the BNP Paribas Open, Kirsten Flipkens put her name into the running and struck one of the best trick shots we’ve seen so far in 2019.
At the beginning of the second set, with the swirling desert winds wreaking havoc, Flipkens pulled off a stunning series of shots to win the point against a battling Eugenie Bouchard.
Read more: Flipkens solves Bouchard at the BNP Paribas Open
Check out the video below to see the point for yourself:
Let’s recap that: Flipkens hit a tweener - running toward the net, mind you - and followed it up with a backhand volley and a perfectly placed lob.
“Within half a second you’ve got to decide what you’re going to do,” Flipkens explained to wtatennis.com after the match. “I was running forward and the ball came right to me. Maybe it looked more difficult than it is, because for me it was just the easiest way to put that ball back in the court. Honestly, I didn’t have many other options.
“It came into my feet, so I was like, ‘Yeah okay I’ll just do a tweener.’ That’s something you do instinctively, you know? It’s not like you’re thinking, ‘Okay, it’s time for a tweener now.’”
The match was full of hotshots from Flipkens’ racquet, like this behind-the-back, on-the-run one-handed backhand winner dubbed the ‘Flipkens Flicker’.
It's called a 'Flipkens Flicker' 💥@FlipperKF #BNPPO19 pic.twitter.com/vphN6Imj6G
— WTA (@WTA) March 8, 2019
But was Flipkens’ tweener - which was Thursday’s Shot of the Day - actually WTA Shot of the Year material? The Belgian thinks it might be.
“I’m happy that Agnieszka Radwanska is not playing anymore so maybe now I have a chance this year again!” she joked. “I got a lot of messages on my phone about that shot already.”
Watch the video below to see full highlights of Flipkens’ tough first-round battle against Bouchard - there are plenty of other trick shots to see.