Goran Ivanisevic Wimbledon 2001

Top 4 lowest ranked ATP Slam finalists


Across the Open Era, a handful of men on the ATP tour have pulled off astonishing underdog displays to reach a Grand Slam final.

Here, Tennishead looks at some of the lowest ranked men to ever reach the final of a Major.

4. Gustavo Kuerten – Roland Garros 1997 – World No. 66

‘Guga’ was playing just his third Slam main draw, his second at Roland Garros, and had never gone past the second round at a Slam.

The Brazilian reached the third round before facing 1995 champion and fifth seed Thomas Muster. Kuerten came out the victor after a five set battle with the Austrian.

After overcoming Andrei Medvedev, again in five sets, Kuerten then defeated defending champion and third seed Yevgeny Kafelnikov.

This was a third consecutive five set victory for Kuerten, this time rallying from a 2-1 set deficit.

The Brazilian securd a final berth by conquering Belgian qualifier Filip Dewulf to face 16th seed and two-time Roland Garros champion Sergi Brugera.

The final was a seemingly straightforward affari for Kuerten, defeating his Spanish opponent 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 for a first of three Roland Garros titles.

This was in fact Kuerten’s first ever ATP title and only title in 1997.



3. Goran Ivanisevic – Wimbledon 2001 – World No. 125

In one of the most popular comeback stories in tennis history, Ivanisevic was handed a wildcard to Wimbledon 2001.

The Croatian had been to the Wimbledon final three times, and had lost each time in 1992, 1994 and 1998.

But this year would be different. Ivanisevic defeated top ATP talents Carlos Moya, Andy Roddick and Greg Rusedski to book a place in the quarter-finals, then taking on fourth seed Marat Safin.

Ivanisevic overcame the Russian in four sets to face home favourite and sixth seed Tim Henman for a place in a fourth Wimbledon final.

In a match played over three days due to rain, Ivanisevic won from two sets to one down to book his spot in the championship match.

The Croat was up against Australian two-time US Open champion and 2000 Wimbledon runner-up Pat Rafter, the third seed.

The two men split the first four sets to bring up a decider. The tie was deadlocked at 7-7 before Ivanisevic secured the crucial break for a chance to serve out the championship.

Two championship points came and went with double faults, before Rafter kept himself in it with a deft lob on a third championship point.

Finally, when a Rafter return sailed into the net, Ivanisevic sank to the court. He wept with joy at the victory, his one and only grand Slam triumph.



2. John Marks – Australian Open 1978 – World No. 177

Marks opened his 1978 campaign in Melbourne with a walkover win over second seed Jose Luis Clerc, who was forced to retire after the opening set.

Marks then defeated fellow Australians Philip Dent and sixth seed John Alexande to book a place in the semi-finals.

There he did battle with three-time Slam champion and third seed Arthur Ashe, defeating the American in five sets.

The final was between Marks and top seed Guillermo Vilas, with the Argentine going for a first Slam title on grass.

Here is where Marks’ glorious run came to an end, defeated by Villas in four sets.



1. Mark Edmondson – Australian Open 1976 – World No. 212

Edmondson overcame the fifth, 12th and 13th seeds respectively in the second third and fourth rounds.

All three opponents were fellow Australians, with Edmondson dropping just two sets across the three matches.

Come the quarter-finals, Edmondson faced top seed and eight-time Slam champion Ken Rosewall for a place in the final.

Again Edmondson pulled the upset, in four sets, to face second seed John Newcombe in the final.

Newcombe was himself a seven-time Slam champion and the defending Australian Open champion.

The second seed claimed the first set in a tiebreak, but from there Edmondson took control to win 6-7, 6-3, 7-6, 6-1 to complete a most improbable title run, as the lowest ranked ATP player ever to win a Slam singles title.



Goran Ivanisevic Wimbledon 2001
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