Brown’s magic, Moutet’s speed and Pavlyuchenkova’s touch: the top 10 most beautiful points of UTS2
Moutet’s strokes of genius, Pavlyuchenkova’s mastery and Brown’s improbable “trick shots” … UTS2 had its share of exceptional shots under the Sophia-Antipolis sun. An anthology of the most beautiful points of this 2nd edition of the Ultimate Tennis Showdown.
10 – Zverev’s hot shot pass
In his victory against Corentin Moutet in the semi-final of UTS 2, Alexander Zverev showed all his qualities, both offensive and defensive, as was displayed by this superb backhand passing shot which wrong-footed Moutet. “The Lion” finally won 3 quarters to 1 (17-12, 10-12, 17-12, 13-11).
9 – Cornet’s feathery volley
On the occasion of the first women’s tournament at UTS, Alizé Cornet regaled, despite her defeat in the final against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, by depositing this feathery dropper in the perfect location. Impossible to handle for the Russian who nevertheless won the match in sudden death (16-8, 12-11, 11-14, 9-16, 3-1) and therefore the competition.
8 – Paire’s cool-as-you-like tweener
For his debut in UTS2, Benoit Paire beat Dustin “The Artist” Brown at his own game by pulling out a casual tweener to flummox the German, who was down for the count. “The Rebel”, who announced that he wanted to win the 2nd edition of the tournament but couldn’t quite manage the task, topped Brown 3 quarters to 1 (12-10, 21-13, 16-19, 22-14).
7 – Dimitrov’s wicked flick backhand
Despite his whirlwind participation in UTS2, Grigor Dimitrov had time to show off a few highlights, especially in his last group match against Nicolas Mahut. The Bulgarian pierced “The Mousquetaire” with a backhand passing shot that was part reaction and part wizardry, and strick cleanly from three meters from behind the baseline. Dimitrov came away with the victory 3 quarters to 1 (14-11, 13-15, 15-14, 12-10).
6 – Moutet’s insane defense
In the duel of the rebels of the circuit, Corentin Moutet surprised his compatriot Benoit Paire with jaw-dropping defense. “The Tornado” first (somehow) managed to return a smash, before scampering across his half of the court to bring back a drop shot cross, then he concluded his clinic with a crosscourt forehand winner into the open court. Moutet won his third group game, 4 quarters to 0 (15-0, 15-0, 15-0, 15-0), on his opponent’s abandonment because of the heat.
5 – Pavlyuchenkova’s magisterial half volley
For her first match at UTS, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova offered a recital against Ons Jabeur. All the mastery of “The Thunder” is summed up in this half-volley raised to perfection and angled enough so that the Tunisian does not have time to offer a reply to it. Pavlyuchenkova easily won 3 quarters to 0 (16-14, 15-10, 16-10).
4 – The lob sequence – around the world goes Moutet
Even in high-stakes matches like his semi-final against Alexander Zverev, Corentin Moutet likes to put on a show. After a lob that came to kiss the corner of the court was put back into play by the German, “The Tornado”, who only had to conclude with a smash, preferred to wow the commentators and viewers with a risky half-volley. It was perfect. The German still prevailed, 3 quarters to 1 (17-12, 10-12, 17-12, 13-11).
3 – Brown’s retro fly
Now we’re getting ridiculous! In his second UTS2 match against Corentin Moutet, Dustin Brown used his magic to release a retro backhand volley so well-handled that the ball came back and, after tracing the line of the net cord, landed on Brown’s side of the court. What could Moutet do? Just bow to “The Artist”. Even the Frenchman had to applaud after this beauty. Brown then snatched the victory in sudden death (18-12, 13-17, 13-14, 19-9, 3-1).
2 – Moutet’s devilish fake smash trickery
After a mixed run at UTS1, Corentin Moutet made a sharp entry into UTS2 against the newbie Fernando Verdasco, who was only just discovering the format. “The Tornado” did not hesitate to take the term exhibition literally on this point. After a succession of attacks to get a simple smash, the Tornado preferred to fake the smash and ultimately dropped the ball just behind the net with a pristine bunt volley. The end of the match, which was hotly contested, led to a victory in sudden death by Moutet (19-13, 13-16, 12-16, 16-13, 3-1).
1 – Brown’s diving volley
The best – and most timely – shot of this UTS2 is the work of Dustin Brown in his duel with Corentin Moutet in a group match. Driven to sudden death after an intense fight, “The Artist” produced the type of magic that has become his signature – on a match point! The German, at the net, dove head first on his right side to intercept Moutet’s pass and clinch the match (18-12, 13-17, 13-14, 19-9, 3-1). What a delightful way to end a match!