Grand Slam Tennis female winners
As the best tennis players in the world hit the slick green (for now, anyway) grass at the All England Club in Wimbledon, it feels like the right time to pose the timeless question: Who is the best professional tennis player without a Grand Slam singles championship?
The title is a double-edged sword. The good news is the player is considered a true contender for one of the four Grand Slam events: the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
The not-so-good news is that said player hasn’t won one yet, and is not living up to his/her potential. The moniker can become an albatross that can suck the life out of an otherwise splendid career.
The easiest way to determine the answer is to merely look at the rankings and find the best-ranked player without a Slam title. But perhaps there’s a more satisfying way to get there, by judging the results on non-slam winners in actual Grand Slam events. In other words, who is the best Grand Slam player who has yet to win one?
We went back to results in both men’s and women’s Grand Slams starting in 2009 and going through this year’s French Open, and scored the results accordingly: 1 point for an appearance in the 4th round; 2 points for quarterfinals, 3 for the semifinals and 4 for the finals. The top players on both the men’s and women’s sides won’t be that surprising. But the rest of the list may.
On the men’s side, it’s hard to fathom a winner not named Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic. The trio has won 28 of the last 29 Slams. But you never know. The women’s side is more wide-open: The last six events have had six different winners.
Andy Murray (ATP ranking: 4)
The distant fourth member of the Big Four (Ringo, anyone?), Murray has won more than $20 million in his career on the court. But the 25 year-old Scot, who is sponsored by Adidas, has never won the big one. He’s come close, with three appearances in Slam finals (2008 U.S. Open, and 2010 and 2011 Australian). He recently hired Ivan Lendl as his coach. Perhaps the steely 8-time Slam winner can instill the killer instinct that’s been lacking in his pupil.
Tomas Berdych (ATP ranking: 7)
The tall (6’5”) and hard-hitting 26 year-old Czech made the 2010 finals of Wimbledon where he lost to Rafael Nadal in straight sets. He also reached the semifinals of the French that year. Berdych is sponsored by Nike.
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