Mens Tennis Forums banner

Best Player Never To Win A Slam?

1 - 20 of 579 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
420 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Major Misses: Top Players who Never Won a Slam

Grand Slam titles are the measuring stick of greatness. But who rose the highest without a major to stand on?

By Doug Robson - From the October 2003 issue of TENNIS Magazine


Winning your first major isn't easy. The first half of 2003 saw three young tennis players--Juan Carlos Ferrero, Roger Federer, and Justine Henin-Hardenne--get the monkey off their backs before being tagged with the dreaded best-player-not-to-win-a-major label. That got us to thinking about who does deserve that distinction. Limiting ourselves to retired Open-era players, here are our picks for the 10 best players (five men, five women) to finish their careers without a Grand Slam singles title.


Jose-Luis Clerc - This Argentine's record on fast surfaces was mediocre, but on clay, Clerc had a .772 winning percentage, and he could grind with the best. He won 25 titles (21 on dirt), placing him 23rd on the all-time list, compiled a 365-145 win-loss record, and finished in the Top 10 four times. He even had a 7-7 record against Ivan Lendl. Clerc's best chance at a major was at Roland Garros, of course, and he reached the semis there twice, in 1981 and '82, but lost tight matches to Lendl and Mats Wilander.

Mary Joe Fernandez (...)

Brian Gottfried - The Maryland native squeezed as much out of his talent as any player. He won 25 titles, tying him with Clerc for 23rd on the all-time list, reached another 26 finals, and finished in the Top 10 three times (with a high of No. 5). Having made the 1977 French final and '80 Wimbledon semis, Gottfried is one of the few male Open-era players who excelled on both fast and slow surfaces.

Andrea Jaeger (...)

Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere (...)

Miloslav Mecir - The quick, clever "Big Cat" was one of the most talented players of the 1980s, with an ability to mix speeds, spins, and angles. But Mecir too often came up clawless in big matches: His record in finals was 11-13. Still, before a bad back ended his career in 1990, he finished in the Top 10 three times, reached the '86 U.S. Open and '89 Australian finals, losing to countryman Ivan Lendl both times, and won the Olympic gold medal in 1988.

Tom Okker - He earned the nickname "The Flying Dutchman" for his foot speed. That, along with his windmill forehand and solid volleys, helped Okker net 31 singles titles. In 1968, he lost a five-setter to Arthur Ashe in the final of the U.S. Open, but perhaps more impressive is that Okker, a former No. 2, reached the semifinals at all four Grand Slams.

Cedric Pioline - He was a gifted if streaky all-courter with a beautiful one-handed topspin backhand. During his 14-year career, Pioline won five of 12 finals, attained a high of No. 5, and finished 1993 in the Top 10. His crowning achievements, reaching the U.S. Open and Wimbledon finals in 1993 and '97, respectively, ended in blowouts at the hands of Pete Sampras.

Pam Shriver(...)

Wendy Turnbull
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
420 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
now from Jon Wertheim's Tennis Mailbag ...

You say Bill Coria is now the best player never to have won a Slam, but I disagree. I'd say Tommy Haas deserves that title. Before he hurt his shoulder, he was No. 2 in the world. He even played well when he returned from his injury. While we're on the subject, what's going on with him? There's been almost no mention of Haas in the tennis media for a long time. --Pam Spiegel, Chicago

We can quibble about whether Kill Bill Coria is a better player than Tommy Haas (I say yes), but your larger point is well-taken. When we speak of the "best player never to have won a Slam," we mean the best player today. Of all the active male players never to have seized a Major, I'd think the hands-down winner would be Marcelo Rios, who not only won back-to-back TMS events and reached a Grand Slam final (Australia 1998) but also achieved the top ranking. Rios' professed comeback aside, I think we all agree that Coria (and Haas) will win a Major before the Chilean.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
420 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Re: best player never to have won a Slam - two views

Jon Wertheim is a huge fan of Marcelo Rios's game like Tennis Fool ;) ... maybe we can add Todd Martin and Alex Corretja to that list too... :confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,563 Posts
Re: best player never to have won a Slam - two views

Todd Martin could be in this list, having been in 2 GS finals. I still remember watching him choke against Malivai in the Wimbledon semis, but overall should be on the list.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28,276 Posts
Re: best player never to have won a Slam - two views

You could throw Enqvist on the growing list. He's been in a slam final and won 210382109382109 singles titles ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,763 Posts
Re: best player never to have won a Slam - two views

Rios, Corretja and Clerc should have won Roland Garros at least once.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,884 Posts
Re: best player never to have won a Slam - two views

Nalbandian will eclipse them all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,359 Posts
Re: Re: best player never to have won a Slam - two views

Not at Roland Garros he won't.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,957 Posts
Re: best player never to have won a Slam - two views

Not at Wimbledon either, will be a contender at US open though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,359 Posts
Re: Re: best player never to have won a Slam - two views

I never realised that Verkerk was as old as he is, he's 26 this year, so his chances of doing anything big are getting slimmer... I'd love to see him win a Slam, but I don't think it'll happen somehow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,884 Posts
Re: best player never to have won a Slam - two views

I am also surprised no one mentioned Scud.. With two different Slam finals he is definitely a contender here.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,957 Posts
Re: best player never to have won a Slam - two views

Verkerk is a nice guy, I would love to see him win a slam but last years French Open was his opportunity of a lifetime. What was dissapointing is that he played awful against Ferrero.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,359 Posts
Re: Re: best player never to have won a Slam - two views

He was actually up a break in the second set of that final but gave it back immediately - something like 45% first serves for the whole match...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,753 Posts
Re: best player never to have won a Slam - two views

I direct thee to my Bridesmaids thread on WTAWorld and Groomsmen thread here :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28,276 Posts
Re: Re: best player never to have won a Slam - two views

WyveN said:
Verkerk is a nice guy, I would love to see him win a slam but last years French Open was his opportunity of a lifetime. What was dissapointing is that he played awful against Ferrero.
He did... but I didn't find this nearly as distressing as watching Ferrero forget to wake up for the final the year before. Far and away, the most embarassing slam final I've ever seen! Okay, I'm sure there was worse. But going on the fact he was my favourite player, that was as bad as it could get ;)

It would be awfully nice if the RG final this year wasn't crap.
 

·
Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
Joined
·
124,507 Posts
Re: best player never to have won a Slam - two views

Rebecca, there hasn't been a good RG final for a while.
-I mean Norman was hideously nervous against Guga in 2000.
-Corretja was doing well against Guga in the wind and had chances to win the 2nd set then fell away.
- 95 was a great final when Muster mauled Godboy after he was down 4-1 in the 1st set.
- The last close one result wise was in 99 when Medvedev was killing Agassi, and then he got tenative and Agassi came back and won Boooooooooooooooooooooooo.
Though the 91 and 93 finals where closer and much better matches, though I found it hard to cheer for Courier, then again he was playing Mulletboy Agassi, so it wasn't too hard.

Miloslav Mecir was the best player never to win a Slam.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,884 Posts
Re: Re: Re: best player never to have won a Slam - two views

Queen Rebecca said:
He did... but I didn't find this nearly as distressing as watching Ferrero forget to wake up for the final the year before.
He got infected with that in semifinal.
 

·
psychotic banana
Joined
·
15,731 Posts
Re: best player never to have won a Slam - two views

I remember reading this list from my Tennis mag. I don't know if I'd agree with Jon about "Bill" and Tommy.
 
1 - 20 of 579 Posts
Top