The first round of the Mutua Madrid Open, this year’s first clay-court WTA 1000 event, is in the books. Vote for your favorite shot so far below.

For 27 shots, Amanda Anisimova threw everything she had at Emiliana Arango, and finally finished with the flourish of a perfectly executed drop shot. But Arango’s scrambling defense shone just as much in a point that showed exactly how the Colombian eventually upset Anisimova.

Cristina Bucsa was on the back foot throughout this point, barely getting her racquet to a Harriet Dart forehand down the line. But as the Briton shaped up for a drive volley that should have laid the rally to rest, Bucsa demonstrated supreme anticipation to double back on herself and pick it off with a backhand that landed on the baseline.

Few players’ minds work like Taylor Townsend‘s. Who else would have decided, seemingly on the spur of the moment, to take that step forward off a high ball from Mirra Andreeva to take it out of the air, while still behind the service line, and pull off a drop volley from that position?

“Is there anything this girl can’t do?” marvelled the commentator of Maria Lourdes Carle. The Argentinian qualifier had spent a set-and-a-half taking Emma Raducanu apart with an array of clay-court skills. This half-volleyed lob, which the Briton could only flail at in vain, might have been her best of the day.

Caroline Wozniacki will be having nightmares about Sara Errani‘s drop shot this week. The 37-year-old former Roland Garros finalist repeatedly outfoxed Wozniacki with it over the last two sets of their match, even hitting drop shot return winners for fun by the closing stages. This drop-lob combination was particularly sumptuous.

How quick is Sloane Stephens? That’s both in terms of her footspeed, which she showed off haring up and down the length of the court to track down Martina Trevisan‘s shots; and in terms of her reflexes, which enabled her to turn a Trevisan overhead into a volley winner.

A game later, Trevisan repaid the favor with a similar steal — on set point, no less. The Italian managed to stretch to her right just in time to loft a volleyed lob over Stephens’s head.

Tweener klaxon! Twisting to retrieve a Katerina Siniakova lob, Nadia Podoroska managed to thread the needle of a pass down the line without even looking, measuring the hot dog shot to perfection.


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