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‘You are kidding’: Tennis world loses it over ‘shot of the year’

Czech tennis star Marie Bouzkova has left fans awestruck after an incredible winner at the Madrid Open that some have described as the “shot of the year”.



Bouzkova went down in a three-set thriller to Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova, 7-6 0-6 5-7 in the Spanish capital.

However, the 23-year-old produced the highlight of the match during an extraordinary point that she had no right winning.



A ferocious backhand return from Alexandrova pushed the Czech star way outside the doubles line, with Bouzkova managing to scramble a high return.

She was then made to sprint to the other side of the court as Alexandrova bombed a massive forehand right into the corner.

Bouzkova lunged at full-stretch for the ball and threw her racquet out in desperation, with the shock on her own face evident as the ball caught the chalk for an extraordinary winner.



“Oh, you are kidding me!” exclaimed one commentator as Bouzkova held her head in disbelief at an incident that sent the tennis world into a frenzy.







Alexandrova needed five match points before eventually sealing the tense three-set victory over 77th-ranked Bouzkova.

The Russian now faces Amanda Anisimova in the quarter-finals after the American staved off a second-set comeback by former World No.1 Victoria Azarenka to hold on for a 6-1, 6-4 victory.



Anisimova appeared to be cruising towards a crushing victory in her first career meeting with Azarenka, before things went very pear-shaped.

The American was up 6-1, 5-1 and served for the match at 40-0, but was unable to close out proceedings.

Azarenka then held serve and managed to break Anisimova again to make it 5-4, before more drama as the American served for it once more.



At 40-15, Anisimova missed an easy put-away volley that would have won her the match, keeping Azarenka alive once more.

But the 20-year-old finally finished things off with an ace on her sixth match point.

Elsewhere, former world No.1 Simona Halep stepped up her French Open preparations with a 6-4 6-4 victory over American Coco Gauff.



Halep, who won the French Open in 2018 and the Madrid title twice, is unseeded after her ranking fell last year following a series of injuries but she has yet to drop a set in the tournament this year.

The Romanian was at her aggressive best on the red clay on Monday, but was unable to break until the American teenager made a series of unforced errors to go down 5-4.




Halep, now ranked 21 in the world, served out the set but it only fired up Gauff as the 18-year-old suddenly grew in confidence. Finding success at the net she raced into a 3-0 lead in the second set.

The Romanian counter-puncher quickly recovered and fought back as Gauff’s error count continued to climb, breaking twice to go up 5-4 before wrapping up the contest in 77 minutes.



Halep will face Tunisian eighth seed Ons Jabeur who beat Belinda Bencic 6-2 3-6 6-2 in an earlier match where the final set was played under the roof due to rain.



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