Great matches with unexpected ending


Permit me a certain amount of exposition before i introduce my purpose of this thread. There have been many instances where great matches which extended to the final set, irrespective of whether they were 3 tough setters in best of 3 or five setters, culminated with a double fault, hence bringing the curtain down in an unexpected way, also there have been few occurrences when the occasion itself was great as the match was a grand slam final but the last point was also a double fault.

I have a created a list of such matches where the player won by a double fault in the 3rd set and 5th set of BO3 and BO5 respectively or a grand slam final, and they are as follows,

Tracy Austin vs Martina Navratilova 1981 US Open Final
Tracy defeated Evert in semis in a hard fought match and then proceeded to defeat Martina. Martina in the last set tie breaker, was quite nervous. It is strange that woman as decorated as her got nervous in such moments.

Final Score: 1-6, 7-6, 7-6(7-1)

Graf vs Navratilova 1987 French Open Final
Martina double faulted to hand over the match to Steffi.

Final Score: 6-4, 4-6, 8-6

Chang vs Lendl 1989 French Open 4th round
The match was not great in terms of shot making but the mental games that were deployed and the tenacity of a teenager named Michael Chang. Chang who was dehydrated, played with great improvisation to rattle, fluster the usually calm and collected Lendl. Underhand serve, moon balls made Lendl loose his cool and once during the match fought with umpire and charged him of cheating, umpire in return of Lendl's petulance gave him a code violation and point penalty. The last point of the match was the last nail in the coffin. Chang approached the service box even before Lendl had served, and Lendl just was clearly dismayed by this audacious behaviour and double faulted.

Final Score: 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3

Sampras vs Corretja 1996 US Open Semi Final
Brilliant shot making coupled with grit and determination of these players who made each other play their level best. Pete was already exhausted by the end of the second set, continued fighting and by the beginning of the 5th set was physically at his worst and only his serve was helping him stay in the match. In the 5th set tiebreaker, with Pete leading by a point at 8-7. Alex double faulted. A disappointing end to a classic match. In Alex's words it was his best match and also the worst. The mutual respect for each other in the end was palpable.

Final Score: 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (9-7).

Nadal vs Verdasco 2009 Australian Open 2009 Semi Final
Nadal was steamrolling everyone before he met Verdasco, and for Fernando he was in his best form and was very confident with two back to back wins over Andy and Jo who were 4th and 5th seeds respectively. The match consisted of great shot making from either players. Fernando many times hit the ball with ferocious strength but the unforced errors galore as the match progressed. Rafa's defense and his mental strength got the better of Verdasco in the end. Serving at 4-5, 30-40, Verdasco double faulted to bring one of the best matches of Australian Open to a disappointing end.

Final Score: 6-7(4-7), 6-4, 7-6(7-2), 6-7(1-7), 6-4

Cilic vs Berankis 2015 Wimbledon 2nd Round
Lithuanian Berankis played amazingly by hitting well and hard enough to keep the 2014 US Open champion at bay and had nearly pulled off the upset, had he not hit the double fault on match point. Serving at 5-6, 15-40, Berankis again double faulted to give away the match.

Final Score: 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(8-6), 4-6, 7-5

Cilic vs Isner 2015 Wimbledon
The marathon man was again found in a thrilling five set encounter. It was a see saw battle between these two giants, with Marin giving a close competition on aces. John served 37 aces in comparison to 35 of Marin. After saving multiple match points, he served couple of double faults in the penultimate game, of them one came at the final point.

Final Score: 7-6(7-4), 6-7(6-8), 6-4, 6-7(4-7), 12-10

Rest of the matches did not reach the final set, but considering the enormity of the occasion, the runner up committed a double fault, hence the inclusion in the list.

I have some information though not confirmed Arthur Ashe lost two matches by double faulting on the final point in Australian Open final. Since he was a runner up in 1966, 1967 and 1971, it could any two of them.

Sampras vs Pioline 1993 US Open Final
Pioline had upset number 1 seed Courier but was no match for Pete, who was in a stupenduos form during the fortnight.

Final Score: 6-4, 6-4, 6-3

Rafter vs Philippoussis 1998 US Open Final
Before the match both of them had been in a feud in summer over Philippoussis's non participation in DC. The match culminated with a double fault by Philippoussis and in the process gave himself a bagel in the 4th and penultimate set.

Final Score: 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-0

Svetlana Kuznetsova vs Dinara Safina 2009 French Open Final
It was the last time either player ever played in a grand slam final, but Safina while serving at 2-5, 30-40, served a double fault to make sure that Kuznetsova was the winner and had her last memorable final trip.

Final Score: 6-4, 6-2

Nadal vs Djokovic, 2012 French Open Final
It was the match which a had lot of hype even before the match had started. Novak was going for his 4th straight grand slam (Not a calendar slam, but Novak slam), and Rafa was going for his 7th RO to replace Borg as the all time leader in Roland Garros. First two sets Rafa dominated and was a break up in the third set, but Novak produced some great shot making to win 8 straight games and win the 3rd set, but the match was postponed due to bad weather and visibility. Rafa got the break back next day and Novak served a double fault to bring a disappointing end to this wonderful final.

Final Score: 6-4, 6-3. 2-6, 7-5

Nadal vs Djokovic, 2014 French Open Final
Novak started strongly by winning the first set, but both players showed different signs of discomfort, on one hand Novak was bothered with heat issues and stomach ailment, on the other hand Rafa was not moving that well due to exhaustion(confirmed by himself and Toni later on). Mental demons again visited Novak and he again double faulted to hand over the match.
Final Score: 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4

If you have any more matches that fits the criteria do apprise me.
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@vanioMan i was talking about final set in BO3 and BO5 or grand slam finals which culminated with a double fault

@tipsa...don'tlikehim! yeah it was good match.
I think i did not make it clear, the criteria, even though i thought i did :), nevertheless the criteria is about final set i.e., 3rd and 5th set in BO3 and BO5 respectively, as well a grand slam final which ended with a double fault.
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Talk Tennis Guru
Djokovic - Cilic - FO 2014 (Round 16 I think) - It was a very good match, ending in 4 sets. Cilic served a double fault on match point when trying to make it 5-5 in the fourth.


Hall of Fame
Clijsters vs Serena USO 2009.

Foot fault on second serve to get to 15-40.

Then point penalty. Game set match.