The Best Players on Tour to Never Win a Grand Slam
In tennis, the dream of any player is to win a grand slam title. It is the pinnacle of the sport, however due to players such as Federer, Williams, Nadal, and Djokovic, many great players have never managed to win a grand slam title. Some players, such as Zverev, Thiem, and Pliskova, have never won a Major, but are young enough that there is a good chance they still will. The players we are looking at unfortunately, may have missed their chance.
The first player we need to look at is David Ferrer. David Ferrer is one of the most consistent players on the tour, and one of the hardest to break down. If you have a match against Ferrer, don’t expect to be finished quickly. Ferrer is well respected on the ATP tour, having reached a career high ranking of 3 in the world, claiming 27 titles from Masters down to 250 events, as well as gaining over 700 tour wins, the most of any player to have not won a major. He has also earned the 7th most prize money on the ATP tour. Ferrer has had a few opportunities to win a major, reaching the Australian Open Semifinals in 2011 and 2013, losing to Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic respectively, as well as the US Open Semifinals in 2007 and 2012, losing to Djokovic both times. His best opportunity however came in the 2013 French Open, when he reached the final without losing a set. The previous year he had reached the Semifinal and lost to Rafa Nadal, and this year, he face him in the final. Sadly, Ferrer lost in straight sets. At 36 years old, and expected to retire after the Madrid Open in May, it seems like Ferrer will never win a Grand Slam title.
The second player on the list is Tomas Berdych. A big serving giant on the court, Berdych stands at a whopping 6 foot 5, and can be considered a Big Four killer. He is one of only three players to have defeated the Big Four at Majors, and one of only two players to have defeated Federer more than once before the Semifinals of a Major. Berdych has a career high of 4th in the world, the 9th highest prize money on the ATP tour, and has reached the semifinals of all the majors. He best chance of winning a grand slam title was Wimbledon in 2010. He reached the final after beating number 1 seed Federer in the Quarterfinals, and number 3 seed Djokovic in the Semifinals, but sadly lost in the final to Nadal. He did also look on track to win the 2010 French Open, reaching the Semifnals without losing a set whilst beating seeded players Isner, Youzhny and Murray. He then lost however to runner up Robin Soderling. At 33, and missing most of the last 2 seasons with injury, it is unlikely Tomas will be able to reach the final rounds of a major anytime soon.
The next player is Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. One of the most exciting players on the tour, Tsonga, similar to Berdych has a record of beating the Big Four. He is one of the three players to have also defeated all the Big Four at the Grand Slams, as well as the only player to beat Murray, Djokovic and Federer in the same tournament. He is also only one of three players to beat Nadal, Federer and Djokovic when they were world number one. Tsonga has reached the Semifinals of the French Open twice, as well as Wimbledon twice, most notably in2011, when he came from 2 sets down to beat Federer in the Quarterfinals. He has also reached the semi finals on the Australian Open twice, with the first in 2008 him winning and getting to his first and only grand slam final. He was unseeded for this tournament, and defeated Murray, Gasquet and Nadal to reach the final, before losing to Djokovic, in what was his first Grand Slam title. Tsonga has a career high of 5th in the world, and has won both the Davis and Hopman Cup, as well as reaching the Tour Finals in 2011. At 33, and having just recovered from an injury that put him out for the majority of the 2018 season, it will be tough for him to get back to form, however after just winning the Open Sud de France in only his 9th tournament in the past 15 months, there is hope for him yet.
Our penultimate player is Fernando Verdasco. A big hitting Spanish lefty, Verdasco inclusion on this list may confuse you. however his inclusion is not only for singles, but also for doubles. Many singles players who have never won a singles major, have won one in doubles. This includes players who have dabbled in doubles, such as Gasquet, or compete full time on both tours, such as Feliciano Lopez. Verdasco has played on both tours, reaching 7 in the world on singles, and 8 in the world on doubles. He has never reached a Grand Slam final, singles or doubles, but has reached the semifinal of the Australian Open in 2009, losing to compatriot Nadal in five sets, (in what is considered one of the best grand slam matches of all time) and the semifinal of the French Open in 2017 with partner Nenad Zimonjic. He has managed to reach the Quarterfinals on both tours multiple times. One of his best chances was in 2013 at Wimbledon, where he lead eventual winner Murray 2-0 in sets in the Quarterfinal, before losing in 5, He is no stranger to big victories however, winning the Davis Cup three times, the Hopman Cup, and the Tour Finals in 2013 with partner David Marrero. At 35, it is unlikely he will be able to claim a Major title, especially in singles, but with the right partner, he could manage one in doubles.
The final player is Kei Nishikori. The youngest player on the list at 29, Kei does still have the potential to win a Major. He reached a career high of 4th in the world, and maintained a top 10 ranking for 3 years between 2014 and 2017. He has made it to the Quarterfinals of every Major at least once, for a total of 10, and has made it to the Semi-finals of the US Open three times. His best performance came in 2014 where he reached the US Open final agains Marin Cilic. Kei defeated the number 5 seed Raonic, 3 seed Wawrinka, and 1 seed Djokovic to reach the final, and seemed the player in form, however he lost in the final in straight sets. He has also reached the Tour Finals Semifinals twice, in 2014 and 2016, losing to Djokovic both times. Obviously that 2014 final was a great opportunity for Kei to claim his first major, however his last 4 majors he has reached the 4th round, Quarters twice and the Semis, so there is a good chance he can manage to win that maiden Grand Slam.