Indian Wells: the land of the botched overhead

Published by Tennismash

Stan Wawrinka plays an overhead in his match against David Goffin at the BNP Paribas Open; Getty Images

One of the unexpected, and to be honest, highly amusing, trends emerging this fortnight at Indian Wells has been the propensity of players to fluff their smashes at crucial junctures of a match.

On Wednesday, Stan Wawrinka handed David Goffin a match point – which the Belgian converted – after missing the easiest of putaways and shortly after Tomas Berdych poked an overhead wide to hand Milos Raonic a straight-sets win.

And who could forget Alexander Zverev’s gimme of a high volley on match point against Rafael Nadal, which he instead dumped halfway up the net? He barely won a point after that.

Click right to re-live all three:

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These misses followed on from a few days earlier, when Magdalena Rybarikova played two of the worst overhead errors you will ever see, only for Federico Delbonis to give her a run for her money by smashing a ball directly into the court on his own side of the net.

The volume of blooper-reel-worthy overheads is now approaching double figures. But why so many? Perhaps it’s the ever-present warm desert sun glinting into the players’ eyes? Or that they’re so relaxed in #tennisparadise that they’re dreamily floating around the court and failing to set up quickly enough?

Whatever the reason it’s proven pretty entertaining, and perhaps served as encouragement to us recreational hacks who marvel at the pros – sometimes, they’re as bad as us.

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