2011 Tennis Grand Slam Semi finals
For the better part of the last 5 years, the person most recognized as the best player without a major was unquestionably Andy Murray. With his dominating performance last September in New York, Murray squashed that moniker and joined an illustrious group of major championship winners.
Now the question arises again – who is the best player since the open era began in 1969 to not a have a grand slam to their credit? Based on a simple formula that combines highest career ranking with grand slam success, here are my top 30 (both male and female) based on the sum of the two totals.
The formula is based on rankings (career high of #1 = 10pts, career high of #2 = 9pts, career high of #3 = 8pts, etc.) As well as grand slam results, all quarter final appearances = 3pts, all semi-final appearances = 5pts, all finals appearances = 10pts. Adding the rankings number and the grand slam results creates a FINAL number which is based on my ranking of the top 30 – listed below!
For example – if Sally Smith had a career high ranking of #2 and made 3 grand slam finals and 2 grand slam semi-finals she would have a total of (9pts + 30pts + 10 pts) 49pts. In the case of a tie – highest career ranking takes precedence.
- Helena Sukova (95 pts) – highest career rank: No. 4. Helena reached 4 grand slam finals in the eighties and was the landslide winner in the search for the top player without a major.
- Pam Shriver (88 pts) – highest career rank: No. 3. Pam was best known for her US Open final appearance in 1978. What stands out in my mind are the 7 semi-final grand slam showings she had in her stellar career.
- Mary Joe Fernandez (81 pts) – highest career rank: No. 4. Mary Joe was playing in an era of superstars. Yes, she was 0-3 in grand slam finals but those losses were against two of the sport’s biggest giants – Steffi Graf (twice) and Monica Seles.
- Wendy Turnbull (79 pts) – highest career rank: No. 3. Wendy made the finals in 3 of the 4 grand slams – missing out at Wimbledon where her best performance was a quarter final berth in ’79, ’80 & ’81.
- Rosie Casals (74 pts) – highest career rank: No. 5. Rosie was a great example of consistency in her 21-year career. In a span of 11 years she racked up 11 quarter-final appearances and 7 semi-final appearances. She also had two runner-ups in the majors, losing to Billie Jean King and Margaret Court – back-to-back in the 1970 and ’71 US Open.
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