Tennishead top 10 one-slam wonders


Originally published on: 26/02/10 14:11

OK, let’s get this straight. We don’t want to put a curse on the great Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Far from it. His run to the final of this year’s Aussie Open was fabulous to see. We like the boy. We love that as recently as 2007 he was still slogging away on the Challenger tour and last April lost in the first round of a $25,000 event in Cardiff. Yes, that’s right in Wales!

But with the second grand slam of the year fast approaching, we can’t help wondering whether Monsieur Tsonga will one day look back on January 27 2008 as The Day The Big One Got Away.

Grand slam final appearances are pretty hard to come by. And even though Tsonga eventually went down in four against champion Novak Djokovic, let’s not forget the big-hitting Frenchman was a set up and, at 5-all in the fourth, was only a couple of points away from breaking the Serb. And besides, how many more major finals will be missing either Roger or Rafa?

Anyhow, only time will tell. For the time being, for all our sakes, we challenge you, Jo-Wilfried. Don’t become a one-slam wonder. To qualify for our hall of shame, players must have reached the singles final of just one grand slam. And then lost.

Close, but no cigar…

10. Marcelo Rios
The former world No.1 and a regular winner of the Prix Citron, the journalists’ award given to the sourest player on the circuit, never won a grand slam. An incredible stat for a player that reached No.1 in the world. His missed opportunity came at the 1998 Australian Open when he won just six games against champion Petr Korda. His next best showing at a major were five quarter-finals in Oz, Paris and New York. Maybe thats why he was so grumpy.

9. Greg Rusedski
A 1997 US Open finalist where he lost to Pat Rafter in four sets. Once owner of the world’s fastest serve, the British public hoped the, er, Canadian-born left-hander would deliver a Wimbledon title. Despite reaching the dizzy heights of world No.4, the best he could do in SW19, though, was a quarter-final in 1997. And he never made it past the fourth round in Oz or Paris. Still, he did make it into the quarter-finals of ITV’s Dancing on Ice this year. All is forgiven, Greg.

8. Magnus Norman
Despite reaching the heady heights of world No.2 in 2000, the former other half of Martina


Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.