Some of those rankings peaks are an embarrassment.
Malisse at no.19
Hrbaty at no.12
Escude at no.17
GS winner Edmondson at no.15
Also thought Sjeng would have cracked into the top 10 at some point, even if briefly. Must be one of the best ever players to not be top 10?
Love the random Aussie player SF runs in the mid 90s. Woodbridge. Stoltenberg. WOODFORDE! RAFTER's RANDOM RUN AT RG!
Imagine Sergi at the 1997 FO and looking at the other SF players. Kuerten, Rafter & Dewulf. None of them were top 50 at the start of the year, Kuerten had never won a single title.
And he still lost
Unluckily for him, they included 2 future multiple GS winners and World No.1s.
Admittedly, Rafter was rising in the rankings at that point, not far behind Bruguera. Made a few finals in the months leading up to RG.
Just look at the 1997 Seedings;
1.Pete Sampras (Third Round)
2.Michael Chang (Fourth Round)
3.Yevgeny Kafelnikov (Quarterfinals)
4.Goran Ivanišević (First Round)
5.Thomas Muster (Third Round)
6.Richard Krajicek (Third Round)
7.Marcelo Ríos (Fourth Round)
8.Ŕlex Corretja (Fourth Round)
9.Carlos Moyá (Second Round)
10.Félix Mantilla (Second Round)
11.Albert Costa (Third Round)
12.Alberto Berasategui (First round)
13.Wayne Ferreira (Third Round)
14.Tim Henman (First Round)
15.Marc Rosset (Fourth Round)
16.Sergi Bruguera (Final)
Only 2 survived until the QF. That has to be an all-time low in modern era. It's a fairly clay heavy group of seedings as well, not like they are all hard court serve bots. The only other competition to come to mind is 2002 Wimbledon, where only 2 of the top 16 seeds got past the 3rd round, but the no.1 seed did win the tournament after all. 2002 was just hilarious in general, really competitive.