Best tennis player that did not reach #1 in the ATP ranking?

04-05-2005, 10:27 PM
maybe Guillermo Vilas?

04-05-2005, 10:28 PM
Joachim Johansson

04-05-2005, 10:43 PM
Vilas without a doubt I'd say

04-05-2005, 11:03 PM
Guillermo Vilas, no question.

04-05-2005, 11:18 PM
Vilas. He had some amazing years but there was always a Connors, McEnroe and Borg to deal with.

04-05-2005, 11:25 PM
I agree with Vilas.

Ivanisevic and Chang made several GS finals in addition to their one GS title, so maybe they deserve mention.

04-05-2005, 11:29 PM
I second that. Chang and Ivanisevic.

04-05-2005, 11:31 PM
I didn't realise Chang never reached number 1! I'd still have Vilas ahead of him though

04-05-2005, 11:37 PM
I didn't realise Chang never reached number 1! I'd still have Vilas ahead of him though

Chang was one match away. A very tough loss for him, because his career went steadily downhill soon after that.

04-05-2005, 11:39 PM
Chang was one match away. A very tough loss for him, because his career went steadily downhill soon after that.
Who'd he lose to?

04-05-2005, 11:43 PM
Also Stich deserves a mention unless my memory has failed and he reached #1.

SF in Australia
SF and F in FO
Winner at Wimbledon
F at USO

2 TMS titles and the year end championship in 93.

04-05-2005, 11:43 PM
Who'd he lose to?

Sampras at the USO

04-05-2005, 11:44 PM
Had Chang won the 96(or 97) USO against Sampras, he would've reached the top ranking. #1 ranking was on the line on that final, but of course Sampras won in straight sets. Did Chang have a chance any other time?

04-05-2005, 11:47 PM
Yeah, I was thinking of the 1996 USO final against Pete. I don't know of any other matches where Chang could have taken No. 1.

04-05-2005, 11:47 PM
I too say Guillermo Vilas! :banana:

This is always the standard answer to this question.

04-05-2005, 11:48 PM
Oh so its not as bad as if he lost to a dud, Sampras was a decent player :p I'm surprised he never reached the number 1 ranking at any point though.

04-05-2005, 11:52 PM
I'm surprised he never reached the number 1 ranking at any point though.

well its extremely difficult to do if you dont win slams, apart from that 1996 match sometime during the 89/90 season would have been his best shot.

04-06-2005, 12:54 AM
What about Henman?

04-06-2005, 01:05 AM
What about Henman?

Disagreed. Henman deserves his place in top 10, but not at the top. He's never come up with the results.

04-06-2005, 02:00 AM
Ivanisevic, Vilas, Chang and Stich

04-06-2005, 02:01 AM
Yes, you need to win at least one Slam to be a deserving no. 1 (WTA rankings notwithstanding), and Henman doesn't even have one Slam final on his resume. I'm still keeping the faith though, for another year at least. He is back in the Top 5, and shouldn't drop too far even though Gaudio will most likely overtake him during the clay season.

Action Jackson
04-06-2005, 05:18 AM
Vilas, then Stich.

Henman is a top 10 player and not good enough for # 1.

04-06-2005, 05:22 AM
Mecir was never #1 was he? He was good.

I'd say Stich.

Action Jackson
04-06-2005, 05:24 AM
No, sadly Mecir wasn't # 1 or really had the chance to get there.

04-06-2005, 07:21 AM
also Vilas, he was a great player !!!!!

04-06-2005, 10:37 AM
I've searched a bit on Seems impossible do distinguish between Chang and Stich: both won slams, they have a decent record against the dominant players of their time (Edberg, Lendl, Courier, Sampras, Becker, Agassi) with one exception each (Chang against Becker, Stich against Agassi) and their H2H is 3-3! Similar win/loss-rate too. Chang had a longer career, though.

Ivanisevic is as good as these two wtr slams, career titles, ATP match record, H2H against them and the #1s. But my impression is that he was a little more inconsistent than them (haven't looked for supporting stats though).

Vilas is tougher to tell for me. But his record against Connors/Borg/Lendl/Mcenroe is about as good as Changs and Stichs against their #1s.

Action Jackson
04-06-2005, 10:45 AM
Vilas should have been # 1 in 77, but the system was crap. He still has the longest undefeated streak on clay, he won 2 Slams that year and the final of another.

04-06-2005, 12:05 PM
The best tennis players who didn't reach Number 1 are:

Goran Ivanisavic
Guillermo Vilas

Winston's Human
04-06-2005, 04:13 PM
Best player is clearly Guillermo Vilas. Can someone explain how he did not reach #1 during his 1977 streak?

I think you justifiably argue any ordering of Michael Chang, Goran Ivanisevic, and Michael Stich as #2-4.

I would rank them:
#2 Chang
#3 Ivanisevic
#4 Stich

IMHO, Chang outranks Ivanisevic because he has more titles (34-22), more Masters titles (7-2), and more diversity in his slam success. Ivanisevic won one slam and was in three finals -- all Wimbledon. Chang won one slam (French) and was in three other finals (French, US & Australian).

Stich goes in at #4 because he has less titles (18), less Masters titles (1), and two other slam finals (French & US).

04-06-2005, 04:23 PM
Best player is clearly Guillermo Vilas. Can someone explain how he did not reach #1 during his 1977 streak?

a very strange ranking formula that i dont think was even ever released.

04-06-2005, 05:37 PM
Singles Record: 920 - 281
Singles Titles: 62
1973--Buenos Aires
1974--Buenos Aires, Gstaad, Hilversum, Louisville, Masters, Montreal/Toronto, Tehran
1975--Buenos Aires, Hilversum, Louisville, Munich, Washington
1976--Buenos Aires, Fort Worth WCT, Monte Carlo WCT, Montreal/Toronto, Sao Paulo, St. Louis WCT
1977--Bogota, Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Columbus, Johannesburg WCT, Kitzbuhel, Louisville, Paris, Roland Garros, Santiago, South Orange, Springfield, Tehran, US Open, Virginia Beach, Washington
1978--Aix-En-Provence, Australian Open, Basel, Gstaad, Hamburg, Munich, South Orange
1979--Australian Open, Buenos Aires, Hobart, Washington
1980--Kitzbuhel, Palermo, Rome
1981--Cairo, Houston, Mar Del Plata
1982--Boston, Buenos Aires, Kitzbuhel, Madrid, Milan, Monte Carlo, Rotterdam
1983--Delray Beach WCT, Kitzbuhel, Richmond WCT
1972--Buenos Aires, Cincinnati
1975--Boston, Roland Garros, San Francisco
1976--Dallas WCT, Rome, Sao Paulo WCT
1977--Aix en Provence, Australian Open, Baltimore, Nice, Palm Springs
1978--Roland Garros
1979--Indianapolis, Richmond WCT, Rome, Stuttgart Indoor, Sydney Indoor
1980--Barcelona, Hamburg, Madrid, Monte Carlo
1981--Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Kitzbuhel, North Conway, Washington
1982--Baltimore WCT, Barcelona, Gstaad, Johannesburg, Roland Garros
1983--Barcelona, Detroit WCT, Hilton Head WCT, Rotterdam
1986--Forest Hills

04-06-2005, 07:01 PM
Yeah, I was thinking of the 1996 USO final against Pete. I don't know of any other matches where Chang could have taken No. 1.

Chang career actually went downhill after the 1997 USO Semi final against Pat Rafter. He was the favourite to win that tournament when there was only him, Rafter, Rusedski and Bjorkman left in the other semi. Chang badly lost that match, and then lost like 4/5 consecutive matches in the 1st/2nd round at the end of the year and eventually lost his no. 2 ranking to Rafter (who won his first US open that year)...The following year Chang dropped out of the top 10 for the first in 7-8 years, and suffered big foot injuries during the '98 Indian Well/Key Biscaine period...After that, he lost a step or 2 and began a slow and torturous decline until he finally retired at the 2002 US Open. He only won 2 or 3 tournaments after that lost to Pat Rafter, and was never again a contender for Grand Slam or Master Series tournaments. In his final 2 or 3 years in the tour, he only won a handful of matches and was a shadow of a player he once was...Eventually in the 1st round of the 2002 US open, Gonzales who was the type of player Chang would have eaten for breakfast, blasted winners past him at will, and his most of his only wins in those years were on the challanger circuits

I would say his decline was probably the one of the saddest sights in tennis. In a way, Pat Rafter was the guy who ended Chang's glorious career in that semi final...

04-06-2005, 07:18 PM
Vilas won 16 torunaments in 1977 and went to 5 finals. He won over a 100 matches and yet was not #1. WTF??

04-06-2005, 07:28 PM
Nalbandian and Norman

04-06-2005, 07:54 PM
Vilas without a doubt!

04-06-2005, 08:21 PM

Born: August 17, 1952, Mar del Plata, Argentina

Citizenship: Argentina

Handed: Left

Nickname: Young Bull of the Pampas

Seldom has a player found such empathy beyond his own borders as did Guillermo Vilas, the "Young Bull of Pampas," during his pro career. As a foremost Latin American male, he is the only Argentine to be tapped for the Hall of Fame (1991) and the first to win major titles (four of them).

The burly 5-foot-11, 175 pound left-hander captivated audiences everywhere with his sportsmanship and sensitivity of a poet--which he is. An appealing headbanded figure of the 1970s and early 1980s, his chestnut hair flowing below his shoulders, Vilas was the epitome of strength and fitness endurance and patience on court, outlasting opponents from the baseline with his high-rolling topspinning strokes--hour after hour, a destructive metronome.

His 1977 was a monumental year in the game's history: he won 17 of 33 tournaments (tying Rod Laver's record) on a record of 145 match wins against 14 losses. Among his souvenirs were an open-era winning streak record of 50 matches and the French and U.S. titles. His streak, begun after Wimbledon, was stopped at Aix-en-Provence in September by Ilie Nastase, who used one of the controversial "spaghetti" rackets that produced weird strokes and bounces. Vilas quit in disgust; such rackets were shortly banned.

Although he reveled in the backcourt, Vilas startled Jimmy Connors with volleying forays that turned the U.S. Open his way, and set off a wild celebration after he'd won the last championship match in the 54-year-old Forest Hills Stadium, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6, (7-4), 6-0. Joyous fans carried him on victory laps within the concrete arena, as though he were a triumphant bullfighter.

Though grass seemed anathema to the clay-loving Vilas, he did win the Australian twice (1978 and 1979) and the Masters of 1974 at the same place, Melbourne's Kooyong. Perhaps he wasn't a serve-volley smoothy, but his Australian Open record is excellent: two titles plus a final-round loss to Roscoe Tanner in 1977, and a 16-match streak to a semis loss to Kim Warwick in 1980, 6-7, 6-4, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4.

As Argentina's foremost Davis Cupper he took great satisfaction in bulwarking three American Zone wins over the U.S. (1977, 1980, 1983). Vilas won all six of his singles on the Buenos Aires loam, including victories over John McEnroe the last two years. In 1981 he led Argentina to the Cup round, a narrow 3-1 defeat by the U.S. in Cincinnati where, in the fifth set, Guillermo actually served for an improbable doubles victory at 7-6, and an unrealized 2-1 lead (with Jose-Luis Clerc) against McEnroe and Peter Fleming. Vilas and Clerc were hardly a team, or doubles players; McEnroe and Fleming were the best. But the match, lost 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 4-6, 11-9, showed Guillermo's heart and desire on behalf of his homeland.

He was in four French finals, but couldn't get past the Swedes, losing to Bjorn Borg in 1975 and 1978 and, wearing down before 17-year-old Mats Wilander in 1982. It was his last major final in a career that landed him in fifth place among the all-time pro winners headed by Connors: 62 singles titles, even with Borg. His career prize money amounted to $4,904,922. It was in Paris, 1973, that he first gained notice, removing defending champ Andres Gimeno from the French in the second round, 6-2, 5-7, 8-6.

Beginning in 1974 he graced the World Top Ten for nine straight years, No. 2 in 1977. He was born August 17, 1952 in Mar del Plata, Argentina, where he grew up.

04-06-2005, 09:28 PM
This is an easy one: Vilas ;)