Tennis Prose



Even legends endure double bagels

By Scoop Malinowski

Researching my next book Facing Serena/Facing Steffi I came across some surprising results.

Steffi Graf once double bageled Tracy Austin, who was at the end of her career. The match was 12 years after the first match they played, which Austin won over the 14 year old Graf 64 60 in Filderstadt, Germany. The rematch was 12 years after the first match, the only two times they played.

It’s hard to believe that a legendary super champion like Austin could be completely annihilated on a tennis court, that her vast bag of tricks and weaponry would completely fail her to even change the lights of the scoreboard next to her name.

But it does happen in tennis and it has happened on several occasions.

A young Martina Sharapova was double bageled by Lindsay Davenport. Sharapova was also nearly double bageled by Serena Williams in the 2012 Olympic gold medal match, scratching out one game in the second set to avoid the double bagel humiliation.

Even Serena Williams almost got double bageled this year, by Johanna Konta this summer after Wimbledon on California hard courts.

Another memorable legendary champ who had to swallow a double bagel was Monica Seles from Martina Hingis in Miami, although Seles was bothered by a nagging foot injury which clearly hampered her movement.

Pete Sampras once said the very first junior match he ever played he got double bageled. Roger Federer also said he got double bageled in juniors.

Sampras almost suffered the indignity as a pro but he managed to win two games off of Fabrice Santoro on the red clay courts of Rome, for 61 61 drubbing.

Marat Safin came close to enduring a double bagel at the hands of Robby Ginepri, losing 60 61 in Indian Wells in 2003. The year before, Ginepri had suffered a double bagel loss to Lleyton Hewitt in Cincinnati.

Hewitt was as ruthless as they came, especially during his heyday years in the early 2000s. Hewitt almost actually pummeled a triple bagel on a renowned player. At the Australian Open in 2000, Hewitt lead Corretja 60 60 30 in the second round before the Spaniard finally won a game. Hewitt ended up winning by an embarrassingly ugly 60 60 61 count over poor Corretja, who later that year avenged the loss with a three set win at the Masters Cup in Lisbon, 36 76 63.

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