10 instances when a player survived a bagel in a Grand Slam final
One of the most embarrassing and humiliating things faced by any tennis player is being bageled i.e. not winning a single game in a set. Over the years, there have been many eminent tennis players including the likes of Rod Laver, Steffi Graf, and Roger Federer who have been bageled.
However, there have been many instances that a player has won a match despite being bageled or in some cases, even a Grand Slam. There have been many instances when a player won a Grand Slam title by ‘bagel’ing his/her opponent in the final but there have been exactly ten instances when a player won a Grand Slam title despite being bageled by his/her opponent in the final.
Here are ten such cases.
#1. Richard Norris Williams vs Bill Johnston, 1916 US Open final
Richard Norris Williams and Bill Johnstone are both considered one of the finest American tennis players during the 1910s, sharing five Grand Slam titles between them. Both players had played a very exciting semi-final at the 1915 US Open when Johnston defeated Williams (who was the defending champion then) in five sets to reach his first Grand Slam final which he would win by defeating two-time champion Maurice McLoughlin in the final.
One year later, Johnston and Williams would meet again at the US Open, this time in the final. Both players were yet to drop a set in the tournament and the match was expected to be a thrilling encounter. Johnston drew first blood by taking the first set 6-4 but Williams rebounded well by taking the second set by the same scoreline.
However, Johnston came roaring back in the match by taking the third set 6-0. However, Williams did not back down and bounced right back into the match by taking the fourth set 6-2 before taking the fifth set 6-4 to claim his second US Open title. This was the first time that a player had won a Grand Slam final despite being bageled.