Who were the best players never to win a Grand Slam title ? - UBITENNIS
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Who were the best players never to win a Grand Slam title ?

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The ESPN.com website made a survey with top tennis experts to come up with a list of the best players, who were never able to win a Grand Slam title.

 

The list of candidates to join this list are Dominic Thiem (two time Roland Garros champion and 2019 Australian Open runner-up), Milos Raonic (Wimbledon finalist in 2016), Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (2008 Australian Open finalist) and Kei Nishikori (2014 US Open finalist).

The popular ESPN.com sports website restricts the survey to players, who have already retired from tennis.

The eight contenders are ranked alphabetically.

Guillermo Coria reached a career-high of world number 3. At Grand Slam level the Argentinian player reached the French Open final, two US Open quarter finals and won titles in Hamburg and Monte-Carlo. He was nicknamed the “Wizard” (the Magician) of red dirt.

“He was called the “King of Clay before Rafa. He was lightning fast, and he is still considered one of the best returners ever”, said tennis ESPN analyst Sam Gore.

Coria lost to Gaston Gaudio in the final of the 2004 French Open. The Argentine player served for the match twice and did not convert on two match points. He had a 31-match winning streak on clay between 2003 and 2004 and reached six of the eightclay-court Masters Series finals.

Nikolay Davydenko reached four Grand Slam semifinals (two each at the French and the US Opens and won three Masters series titles (Paris Bercy 2006, Miami 2008 and Shanghai 209) and the ATP Finals in London 2009. The Ukrainian player beat Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin Del Potro at the 2009 ATP Finals in London to win the biggest title of his career. He was one of the most consistent players on the Tour and played 99 matches on the ATP Tour in 2006 and reached the quarter finals or better at 8 of 12 Grand Slam tournaments starting with the 2005 Australian Open. He lost to Roger Federer four times in a row in one quarter final and in three semifinals at Grand Slam tournaments.

David Ferrer reached the French Open final 2013 finishing runner-up to Rafael Nadal and quarter finals or better 17 times. He is the second best Spanish player with 27 titles behind his friend Rafael Nadal, who beat David 26 times in their 32 head-to-head matches.

“Ferrer gets it for his longevity and maximization of potential. Nobody in our body has squeezed their sponge like David, at least not for a very long time”, said Todd Matin, Chef Executive Officer of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Todd Martin reached two Grand Slam finals (Australian Open in 1994 and the US Open in 1999) and four other semifinals. At the 1999 US Open Martin produced a come-back win against Greg Rusedski in the fourth round after midnight en route to reaching the final.

In the 1996 Wimbledon semifinals Martin let slip a 5-1 lead slip away against Malivai Washington, who won the decisive fifth set 10-8. Washington then lost to Richard Kraijcek in the final.

Miroslav Mecir reached two Grand Slam finals at the 1986 US Open and at the 1989 Australian Open and the semifinals at the French Open, Wimbledon and at the Seoul Olympic Games in 1988. Mecir beat Wilander in the 1988 Wimbledon quarter finals. This was the only Grand Slam defeat for Wilander that year. Mecir was nicknamed the Big Cat.

“He was a great mover, especially for a man of his size. He could play on every surface”, said Mecir.

Argentina’s David Nalbandian reached the Wimbledon final in 2002 in just his second year on the ATP Tour and four other Grand Slam semifinals. He won the 2005 ATP Finals title with a win over Roger Federer after 8-6 in the fifth set.

“He had wonderful technique off both sides, a massive talent who had great feel, an excellent serve, and knew when to use the drop-shot”, said Tennis Commentator Annabel Croft.

Marcelo Rios reached the 1998 Australian Open final and three more Grand Slam quarter finals. He won the 1998 Grand Slam Cup. The Chilean player was the only world number 1 player, who never won a Grand Slam title and the first South American player to reach the world number 1 spot.

“Rios is the most talented player that I have seen first hand who did no twin a major. I watched him make so many players uncomfortable. He did it without playing outside himself or his abilities”, said Tennis Channel analyst Paul Annacone.  

Robin Soderling reached the final at Roland Garros in 2009 and 2010 and won the 2010 Masters 1000 title in Paris Bercy. He was the first player to beat Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros ending the Spaniard’s 31-match French Open winning streak. The Swedish player was forced to retire from professional tennis at the age of 31 after contracting a bout of mononucleosis. Soderling won titles on every surface but grass.

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Matteo Berrettini reaches the final on his debut at the Queen’s

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Top seed Matteo Berrettini beat Alex De Minaur 6-4 6-4 after 84 minutes to reach the final in his debut at the Queen’s Club in London. 

 

Berrettini has not dropped a set yet at this tournament and beat British players Andy Murray and Daniel Evans earlier this week. 

Berrettini won 89% of his first service points and hit 8 aces. The Italian top ten player broke serve in the third game with a backhand down the line to take a 2-1 lead and did not face any break points in his next service games to win the first set 6-4. 

Berrettini earned three break points in the fifth game of the second set, but De Minaur held serve from 0-40 to take a 3-2 lead. Berrettini saved a break point to draw level to 3-3 before breaking serve to take a 5-4 lead in the ninth game, when De Minaur hit his slice into the net. Berrettini served out the win on his second match point to become the first Italian player to reach the final at the Queens. 

“Making the final was the goal of the week, and now I have one more step. It is a great achievement, especially for the history of this tournament. I am really happy because to beat Alex today, I had to play my best tennis. The mentality is that I always think I can win my service games. I know that I have a big weapon with my serve and first shot. If I sleep too well, it means something is off is off ahead of the final. I have to be nervous and tight a little bit, otherwise the adrenaline does not kick in and it is tougher to play”, said Berrettini. 

Berrettini set up a final against Cameron Norrie, who beat Denis Shapovalov 7-5 6-3 in 94 minutes. Norrie won 76% of his first service points and came back from one set down to become the first British player to reach the final at the Queen’s. 

Shapovalov earned an early break to take a 2-0 lead. Norrie broke back to draw level to 3-3. The British player earned his second break with a backhand passing shot in the 12th game to claim the first set 7-5. 

Norrie did not convert a break point at 3-2, after Shapovalov had treatment on an injury. The British player broke serve in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead and served out the second set in the second game to secure his spot in the final. Norrie has reached his third final this year after fiinishing runner-up to Albert Ramos Vinolas at the Estoril Open and to Stefanos Tsitsipas in Lyon. 

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Samsonova Reaches Final in Berlin after Stunning Azarenka

The Russian qualifier beats the Belarusian in straight sets. She will face the fifth seed, Belinda Bencic.

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Liudmila Samsonova in Berlin in 2021 (Credit: @TennisChanneli on Twitter)

Liudmila Samsonova continued her dream run at the Bett1 Open in Berlin, this time beating the world number 16 Victoria Azarenka quite comfortably with a score of 6-4, 6-2 in only an hour and six minutes on Steffi Graff Stadion. “It’s all incredible for me, so new and I am happy and it’s unbelievable for me”.

 

The world number 106 had the better start to the match, earning the first two breakpoints of the match and getting an early 2-0 lead before the Minsk, Belarus native had two chances to go back on serve – the Russian, however, saved both and held serve.

It stayed on serve until 5-3m when the world number 106 had two set points on her opponents serve, but Azarenka would save both and the Russian would serve out the first set.

The second set was a mirror image of the first one, with the 22-year-old getting two more breakpoints and breaking to take an early 1-0 lead which she would later manage to turn into a double break.

At 4-0, the Russian had a chance to break again setting up a breakpoint with a powerful forehand winner, but the Belarusian would save both with two big serves.

At 5-2, Samsonova served out the match to book her spot in Sundays final where she will face the number five seed Belinda Bencic, who earlier in the day booked her spot in the final by beating Alize Cornet in straight sets.

In her post-match press conference, Samsonova gave her thoughts on Sunday’s match against another tough opponent in Bencic.

“I’m sure it’s going to be another tough match because she plays very good on this surface and she’s a good player, so I will try to do my best and focus on my game and we will see.”

This will be the first time Belinda Bencic and Liudmila Samsonova will meet in a WTA match.

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Andrey Rublev reaches his first grass court final in Halle

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Andrey Rublev hit 24 winners in his 6-1 3-6 6-3 win over Nikoloz Basilashvili in 1 hour and 51 minutes to reach his first grass court final at the NOVENTI Open in Halle. 

 

Rublev raced out to a 5-0 lead in the first set with two breaks in the second and fourth games after 19 minutes. Basilashvili broke serve in the fifth game of the second set after a forehand error from Rublev to win the second set 6-3. 

Rublev earned a break in the sixth game of the third set, when Basilashvili mis-timed a backhand. Basilashvili rallied from 0-40 at 3-5 to save three break points. Rublev served out the third set 6-3 on his first match point. 

Rublev will try to improve his 4-1 record in his ATP 500 level finals. The Russian player rise to third position in the ATP Race to Turin. He has extended his match record at ATP 500 tournaments since the ATP Tour resumed from the Covid-19 suspension. He has claimed his past four ATP Tour 500 level finals in Hamburg, St. Petersburg, Vienna in 2020 and Rotterdam in 2021. “It’s my first final on grass and in Halle. I think I can play on every surface and I will try my best again tomorrow. I had good opporunities to break Basilashvili in the second set, some quite easy forehands and I stressed a little showing my emotions. I then came back and stayed calm until the last game, but I won”, said Rublev.

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