We were very much anticipating amazing points to come out of that BNP Paribas Open final four between four-time champion Roger Federer and first-time semifinalist Alexandr Dolgopolov, and this gem that came out of their 6-3, 6-1 encounter did not disappoint. A lines official had to get out of Federer’s way as he hustled to defend some Dolgo overheads! | Watch: Federer’s Shot of the Day
Both players were asked about this shot, and whether it’s surprising to see shots like this during a match.
“I do [get surprised], as well, because in a match, you know, you just stretch that little bit extra. In practice, there is no reason in the practice. You can’t quite get certain points going the way like you can the match.
“I don’t know if the court is bigger or the opponent pushes you further or you don’t care if you have to slide on the hard courts. I don’t know. In practice I save myself a little bit, because that’s not when I want to get injured.
“I do surprise myself as well. I think most of the players do that to themselves, as well. Certain shots you can’t learn, you can’t teach. It’s just instinct. You adjust and you just try. Sometimes you get lucky and it looks amazing.
“Because we are professional tennis players it feels like really we controlled everything, but also sometimes we get lucky in the process. All you have to do is try get to the balls, and for that you have to be fast and anticipate Then you try to come up with something. It depends how much risk you’re willing to take. The more risks you take, the more spectacular it can be.”
“Well, I mean, over the years we have seen a lot of him playing points like that, defending unbelievable.
“He’s good at it. I knew that, and he made me play a lot of shots seeing I’m not comfortable with the wind. When you’re not comfortable, you don’t go for the full power overhead.
“So I gave him a chance, which he is really good at reading where you hit. He played that point.“I mean, I didn’t see anything surprising. Playing in the semis with a great player, so that happens. If you are not finishing the point, not taking your points, that happens with players like that.”