April 17, 2013
With the summer (hopefully) not far away, we though it’s be a great idea to look at Wimbledon’s ‘nearly men’, the ones who didn’t manage to win the coveted event.
Here are our favourites:
One of tennis’ nearly men.
The American recently brought down the curtain on an impressive career which saw him ranked as the world no.1 in 2003, winner of 32 ATP Tour titles and former US Open champion.
Although he lost 4 grand slam finals in his career, it’s his performances at Wimbledon he will be remembered for most. Roddick lost in the final on 3 separate occasions, all against Swiss great, Roger Federer.
‘Tiger Tim’, a national treasure and former British no.1, tugged at the heartstrings of every UK tennis fan until his retirement in 2007.
Henman was a consistent performer throughout his career, winning 28 ATP singles titles. But it was always the grand slams that eluded him. A prolific semi-finalist, Tim never managed to reach the final of any of these coveted events, and the one in particular which hurt most of all was Wimbledon.
Henman reached the semi-finals on four separate occasions, (1998, 1999, 2001, and 2002) but couldn’t reach the final. He probably came closest in 2001, when he narrowly lost to wildcard, and eventual winner Goran Ivanišević.
Lendl is the most successful tennis player never to win at SW19. Fact.
The Czechoslovakian born star enjoyed unbelievable success in the 1980’s winning eight grand slam titles, which included three consecutive US Opens.
His success will go down in history, but Wimbledon will always be the one that got away.
He reached the semi-finals of the competition on five separate occasions in the 80’s and reached the final itself twice, losing to Boris Becker and Pat Cash.
Ivan’s chance of success at Wimbledon isn’t over however, as he is the currently the coach of British no.1 Andy Murray.
It’s fair to say that Romania isn’t one of the leading nations in producing world class tennis players, but they certainly broke the mould in the case of Nastase.
In a career spanning 15 years and 57 titles, the Bucharest born star was the world no.1 in 1973, and in that decade he successfully claimed two grand slam titles. But it was also in the 70’s were he suffered Wimbledon heartbreak, losing in the finals of 1972 and 1976.
Australia has produced some incredible players over the years with Lleyton Hewitt, Rod Laver, Pat Cash and John Newcombe just a few of the greats. Another Aussie legend Ken Rosewall stands proudly amongst them, but the one thing he doesn’t have in common however, is a Wimbledon singles title.
Born in Sydney, Rosewall won eight grand slam titles in his career, and never featured outside of the top 20 for 25 years.
Although he reached the final on four separate occasions, Ken never won the trophy, but thankfully has his Australian Open, French Open and US Open successes to continue his legacy.
Jim was one of the leading lights in the dominance the Americans had on tennis in the 90’s.
Courier, alongside Sampras and Agassi, helped the US win a staggering 19 grand slam titles from 90 to 99 in a feat that will be hard to replicate in the future.
His personal record speaks for itself, with four grand slam victories in seven attempts, which included back-to-back wins at both the French and Australian Open, Courier was one of the world’s best.
Unfortunately for Jim however, this was at the time when his Davis Cup teammate, Pete Sampras, was rewriting all the record books with his success and subsequently beat Courier in his sole Wimbledon final in 1993.
Well that’s just a few of our picks, but what do you think, leave a comment we’d love to know!