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Venus to Kvitova 2014 Wimbledon like many of you have said. For Venus to only lose serve once (The very last game of the match) was astonishing.
 

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Venus to Kvitova 2014 Wimbledon like many of you have said. For Venus to only lose serve once (The very last game of the match) was astonishing.
Probably the most evenly-served match I've seen in women's tennis, and yet it wasn't a serve-bot performance. There were evenly played games where the server just edged out the returner, it was electric even with generally short points.

There are lots of other matches I've seen where the loser played incredibly, but I can't think of another match that early in a tournament where I was certain the loser would have also gone on to take the title. Of other 3rd round matches, Lauren Davis wasn't going to make the Australian Open final had she upset Halep, for example.
 

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Halep losing to Woz in the in the 2018 AO Final. Simo was dead on her feat and still emptied the bucket to find herself *4-3 up in the final set before finally succumbing.

As many have also said, Lauren Davis losing to Simo at the AO. She played the best tennis of her career and still came off second best.

Lindsay losing to Venus in the 2005 Wimbledon final.

Li Na losing Sharapova in the 2012 Rome final.

Honorable mention to Karo Pliskova losing to Kerber in the 2016 USO final
 

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Hingis losing the Wimbledon QF and US Open SF to Peak Venus in 2000. Too bad she choked the USO match away but it was Venus who won it at Wimbledon.
 

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Hingis losing the Wimbledon QF and US Open SF to Peak Venus in 2000. Too bad she choked the USO match away but it was Venus who won it at Wimbledon.
I always overlook that Wimbledon as one of their earlier meetings (in terms of round) but you're entirely right, that's their better match. I don't think they ever had a match where they were both even throughout in the same way.

That rivalry last truly 'great' rivalry, IMO. Roughly the same age, their games matched up well in contrasting and even ways on every surface, temperamentally different....sigh. That 1997-98-99-00 stretch was a fun time in tennis.
 

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Probably the most evenly-served match I've seen in women's tennis, and yet it wasn't a serve-bot performance. There were evenly played games where the server just edged out the returner, it was electric even with generally short points.

There are lots of other matches I've seen where the loser played incredibly, but I can't think of another match that early in a tournament where I was certain the loser would have also gone on to take the title. Of other 3rd round matches, Lauren Davis wasn't going to make the Australian Open final had she upset Halep, for example.
Tricky thing is that it was hard to tell if Venus could keep it together. She theoretically could have defeated Kvitova only to lose to Strycova or Lucie perhaps. You can't quite bank on her getting through all the way formwise. 2017 was quite a revelation but she used her experience more than anything else.

A good tight match nevertheless.

I'd add in that 1996 SF between Seles and Chanda Rubin. Now that one had Rubin won would likely have got her the title. Rubin also downed ASV in a 16-14 deciding set during the QF, another big losing performance from ASV.

 

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Probably the most evenly-served match I've seen in women's tennis, and yet it wasn't a serve-bot performance. There were evenly played games where the server just edged out the returner, it was electric even with generally short points.

There are lots of other matches I've seen where the loser played incredibly, but I can't think of another match that early in a tournament where I was certain the loser would have also gone on to take the title. Of other 3rd round matches, Lauren Davis wasn't going to make the Australian Open final had she upset Halep, for example.
Lisicki vs Serena in 2013 was like this, as well. Really amazing stuff from both players in that match.
 

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1. Lena D vs Serena Wimbledon 2009 SF

She was so close in that match and she was playing prime tennis, even better than she was playing in the previous slam finals.

2. Sharapova vs Henie Madrid 2007 YEC

Henin was on fire that year and Maria left everything on court that day. I remember winning even a set was considered a great achievement against Henin that year. But ultimately she was the one who ended her winning streak in 08 AO; would have been nice to win another YEC.

3. Azarenka vs Serena in general - Vika is always playing well but Serena just has that switch against her and Maria in order to elevate which she doesn’t do against any other players.


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2001 USO QF
2005 Wimbledon F
2009 FO QF
2009 Wimbledon SF
2010 Rome SF
 

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Difficult :p I remmeber a few matches with great 'losers'.

Venus Williams vs Serena Williams - Wimbledon final 2008: Serena lost but she playes great. She would have beaten any other player but Venus on gras at her best is something else.

Serena Williams vs Venus Williams - Us Open quarterfinal 2008: Serena somehow managed to snatch both sets away from Venus.

Venus Williams vs Lindsay Davenport - Wimbledon final 2005: at first Venus didn't reach the level of her semi final but Lindsay played so strong. Venus won in the end. Incredible final. Davenport had some back issues if I recall.

Serena Williams vs Elena Dementieva - Wimbledon semi final 2009: huge fight. Elena played wonderful but Serena pulled out the win.

Venus Williams vs Martina Hingis - Us Open semi final 2000: just great tennis from both players but Venus was just too tough.
 
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