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Hail Mary: Pierce Explains Greatest Shot in RG History


A tweener tennis Hail Mary remains one of the greatest shots in Grand Slam history.

A streaking Mary Pierce pulled off this stunning leaping tweener lob winner that soared over Monica Seles' head and landed cleanly in the corner.

More: French Open May Play Fan Free

That shot sparked Pierce's rally past three-time Roland Garros champion Seles in the quarterfinals and helped ignite her sweep of the 2000 Roland Garros singles and doubles championships.

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of her rousing Roland Garros run, Pierce spoke to Blair Henley for the International Hall of Fame's Facebook Live chat series and revealed it was the first—and last—time she hit a tweener in a match.



"It was the only time I’ve ever done that shot in a match, ever, in my whole career," Pierce told Blair Henley. "Monica Seles is such a tough opponent for me, I love Monica, she’s a friend, I respect her so much. She was just making me run side to side, and I knew that she was going to hit the ball to the next side, so I just went as fast as I could. All of a sudden, the ball was right on top of me!

"I didn’t even think, it was automatic reflex. I just jumped, hit the ball, between my legs, jumping in the air. It was a miracle that I actually hit the ball, let alone hit it in the court for a winner. When I see the images and I look back, I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, I didn’t think I could jump that high!’"



Hall of Famer Pierce remains the last French player—male or female—to win a French Open singles championship.



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