Everyone wants to play great strokes. Players get a lot of praise for their unbelievable shots but these players also hit some ridiculous howlers that they want to forget. There were a lot of simple misses in the 2020 ATP season, and one can credit some of the biggest howlers to Daniil Medvedev, Matteo Berrettini, and others.
Wesley Koolhof and Nikola Mektić had a moment to forget at the 2020 ATP Finals. In their round-robin match against Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies, they had a fantastic rally that involved strokes from around the net, but the end was a bit comical.
A high ball was sent towards Mektic and Koolhof, and both the players eyed a simple overhead smash. But there was a lack of communication between the two partners, and they both tried hitting it. Instead of hitting the ball, there was a clash of racquets and they missed the smash.
All four players had a laugh. Mektic and Koolhof wouldn’t mind it anyway as in the end, they won the match and later won the ATP Finals as well.
This next howler also involves the smash. At the Acapulco Open, Grigor Dimitrov was facing Adrian Mannarino in the first round. Dimitrov nicely set up the point with his brilliant forehand shots. Mannarino was then forced to send a ball high up and Dimitrov charged forward to the net.
But a total misjudgment happened from Dimitrov. The Bulgarian attempted a jump smash, but the ball wasn’t high enough for the jump smash. Thus he hit the ball awkwardly, and it went flying to the crowd.
Again, that was a one-off as Dimitrov managed to reach the semifinals of the event.
Smashing seems to be a tough art to grasp as another top player missed a simple smash. Daniil Medvedev, while playing against Diego Schwartzman during the ATP Finals round-robin match, missed a simple smash.
In their last round-robin match, Medvedev hit a powerful serve towards Schwartzman. The Argentine just about put his racquet in between, which put the ball high up. Medvedev charged towards the net and then he hit the ball awkwardly. He just hit a weird spin smash, which landed way out of the legal markings.
Nevertheless, Medvedev easily went past Schwartzman and later won the ATP Finals as well.
Another howler involved Italian player, Salvatore Caruso against Corentin Moutet in the Paris Masters. Caruso made a silly mistake that seemed to have occurred because of poor decision making.
Caruso fired a fast serve on the ‘T’. Moutet scrambled to reach the ball and sent the ball just over the net. Caruso seemed to have been confused between hitting a forehand and a smash. In the end, he tried a different shot that put the ball wide.
And again similar to various other misses, Anderson served a great serve on ‘T’ which prompted a stretched response from Paire. As the ball was high and near the net, Anderson tried hitting the smash. But he hit it too early, and it hit the top frame of his racquet and flew to the crowd.
Anderson went on to win the tie, and South Africa won against France.
On the red dirt of Rome, Berrettini hit a tight serve on the ‘T’. An outstretched Casper Ruud barely got to the ball and just glanced it over the net. Seeing Ruud deep-rooted on the baseline, Berrettini thought of just pushing the ball just over the net. But he misjudged the pace and didn’t put enough power on the ball, which then didn’t go past the net. Later, Berrettini lost the match as well.
This miss is a weird one. Damir Dzumhur was playing his first-round match at the Montpellier Open against Felix Auger Aliassime.
After his serve, Dzumhur received a ball from Felix close to the middle of the court near the baseline. The ball bounced a bit too high for Dzumhur’s liking, so he tried to slice it, but failed miserably. The ball barely traveled a foot further and landed inside Dzumhur’s own baseline. Dzumhur was perplexed and laughed on in amazement.