Famous Faults & Statistics
Although rare, a handful of foot faults stand out in history. I’ve pulled together those and a selection of unique stats about faults.
On the pro tour, you won’t see foot faults called too often as players have finely tuned service routines and motions from thousands of hours of practice. As a result, when umpires call foot faults, it’s usually a surprise that can result in players getting frustrated and losing focus.
Serena Williams 2009 US Open
In the semi-final of the 2009 US Open, Serena Willaims was down a set and serving at 5-6 with a score of 15-30 when a lineswoman called her for a footfault on her second serve. In response, Serena told the lineswoman:
“I swear to God I’m [expletive] going to take this [expletive] ball and shove it down your [expletive] throat.”
As a result of the foot fault, the score moved to 15-40. However, what Serena said to the lineswoman constituted a second warning resulting in a point penalty which handed the match to her opponent Kim Clijsters.
Andy Roddick 2010 US Open
During the 2010 US Open, Andy Roddick played Janko Tipsarevic in the second round when a line judged called a foot fault. After the call, Roddick asked whether it was his right or left foot, and the lineswoman told him it was his right foot when asked.
Convinced he never would foot fault with his right foot, he went on a short tirade complaining to the umpire. However, a replay showed that he did foot fault, but it was his left foot, which he learned after the match.
Lleyton Hewitt US Open 2001
Playing James Blake in the 2001 US Open, a linesperson called Lleyton Hewitt for his second foot fault of the match.
Hewitt commented to the umpire, “Look at him. Look at him. You tell me what the similarity is.”
Lleyton was, of course, referring to the fact that both the linesperson and James Blake are black, insinuating preferential treatment in an ugly example of what can unfold when players lose their temper.
The following are a handful of noteworthy double faults facts and statistics from the ATP and WTA during the open era.
Most Double Faults in a Match – ATP
Swiss tennis player Marc Rosset racked up 31 double faults during his loss to French tennis player Arnaud Clement in the quarter-finals of the 2001 Davis Cup, the most of any male.
Most Double Faults in a Match – WTA
Anna Kournikova served more double faults than any other woman during her second-round win at the 1999 Australian Open.
ATP Double Fault Leaders
In 2021, here are the ATP players with the highest average double faults per match.
WTA Double Fault Leaders
In 2021, here are the WTA players with the most double faults.
Is there a specific data point about faults that you’d like to know? Let me know in the comments below, and I’ll do my best to add it.