Re: Best player to never win a slam

Interesting choice Marco!
Soderling does make a strong case.
What do you think about Marcelo Rios who made #1?

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Re: Best player to never win a slam

Have to be David Ferrer in my book, Rios would have won one if he had been more committed I think Charles.

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Re: Best player to never win a slam

dwightcharles wrote:

Interesting choice Marco!
Soderling does make a strong case.
What do you think about Marcelo Rios who made #1?

Rios definitely has to be in the conversation. He was before my time so I never saw his game but looking at his statistics, one could make a case for Rios. Got to #1, one GS final, 5 masters titles.

I wouldn't go Rios only because he only had one top year (1998 which was great, 1 GS final, 3 masters titles, ended the year #2). I feel like Rios only had that one year, his grand slam final in 98 was the only time he ever made it past the QFs at a slam and only qualified once for the year end championships. He really only had a 4yr stretch as a Top 10 player (1996-1999).

If you're gonna argue Rios, you're probably arguing peak which you could make since his 1998 year was great. His credentials aren't too much worse than Soderling's but I feel like he had a shorter but higher peak

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Re: Best player to never win a slam

Trenchant observations Marco, and well argued! smile
I guess then we can debate what 'best' means in 'best player to never win a slam'...

As I pointed out above in this thread...
Tsonga has the best match-winning percentage at the slams among open-era non-slam winners,
And Okker makes a strong case too, with 7 consecutive yearend top 10 finishes - tied with Berdych and Ferrer.

It's not a resolvable question, but fun to talk about!

Last edited by dwightcharles (Jul. 9, 2017 10:58pm)

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Re: Best player to never win a slam

Maybe I should also say that Rios had 3 yearend top ten finishes, and Soderling only had 2...

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Re: Best player to never win a slam

Ferrer for me, but I'm speaking more from the heart with that one.

Re: Best player to never win a slam

I agree with Ferrer - Always fights to the end - Chases down every point - Fun to watch..!!!

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Re: Best player to never win a slam

I looked at a system which I believe Dwightcharles (hat tip) used on this same page for the women, which assaigns players a score of 1-10 for each Top 10 finish (10 for Number 1, 9 for Number 2, etc).

The system isn't perfect but using that system, since the rankings were introduced in 1973 here are the 5 best players who never won slams

1. David Ferrer- 35
2. Nikolay Davydenko- 32
3. Tomas Berdych- 28
4. Jose Luis Clerc- 17
5. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga- 16

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Re: Best player to never win a slam

Interesting Marco! Thanks. I've been wanting to jump into this discussion and suggest Davydenko, but I didn't have any statistical evidence to back up my hunch!

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Re: Best player to never win a slam

I was going to suggest Tsonga but felt like he was never better than a top 10-15 player and the point system you are using bears that out - Great System - It is well presented and appears Ferrer is the top choice here...

What does the system show on the women's side - I had suggested Wozniacki...

Last edited by Murreee (Jul. 13, 2017 7:09am)

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Re: Best player to never win a slam

Murreee wrote:

I was going to suggest Tsonga but felt like he was never better than a top 10-15 player and the point system you are using bears that out - Great System - It is well presented and appears Ferrer is the top choice here...

What does the system show on the women's side - I had suggested Wozniacki...

How about Dementieva or Radwanska Muree. There may be a related thread about the women?

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Re: Best player to never win a slam

Drivers wrote:
Murreee wrote:

I was going to suggest Tsonga but felt like he was never better than a top 10-15 player and the point system you are using bears that out - Great System - It is well presented and appears Ferrer is the top choice here...

What does the system show on the women's side - I had suggested Wozniacki...

How about Dementieva or Radwanska Muree. There may be a related thread about the women?

I did run the numbers for the women. I was surprised how high Radwanska was (ahead of Wozniacki) but what really surrpised me was how Shriver was clearly the best of any man or women to never win a slam

1.    Pam Shriver- 50
2.    Agnieszka Radwanska- 37
3t.    Wendy Turnbull- 32
3t.    Caroline Wozniacki- 32
5.    Elena Dementieva- 29

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Re: Best player to never win a slam

I was going to say Pammie...she got to a lot of GS semi finals then losing to Martina or Chris.

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Re: Best player to never win a slam

Drivers wrote:

Interesting Marco! Thanks. I've been wanting to jump into this discussion and suggest Davydenko, but I didn't have any statistical evidence to back up my hunch!


I forgot how good Davydenko was. I feel like he's often forgotten but him and Ferrer seem to be the Top 2 Choices:

Davydenko: 4 Slam SFs, 10 QFs, 3 Masters Titles, 4 Top Five seasons, 5 straight yrs in the Top 10, 21 Titles and 38 Top 10 Wins, 1 YEC

Ferrer: 1 Slam F, 6 Slam SFs, 17 QFs, 1 Masters Title (7 Finals), 4 Top Five seasons, 7yrs in the Top 10, 26 titles, 52 Top 10 wins

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Re: Best player to never win a slam

Davydenko was a very good player but not the most charismatic so unfortunately a little forgettable.

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Re: Best player to never win a slam

Backhandpass wrote:

Davydenko was a very good player but not the most charismatic so unfortunately a little forgettable.

He also had that brush with a betting scandal. I always believed he was innocent. I was very uncomfortable when he was slated by an umpire on one occasion after that when his serve was failing him.

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Re: Best player to never win a slam

It's weird, I hold Berdych and his game in higher esteem than Cilic's, yet Marin's got a Slam and the Berd doesn't.  Doesn't the Berd have more Big 3/4 wins than Cilic, too?

Re: Best player to never win a slam

He's always seemed to be pretty consistently in the last 8 of the Masters series, until recently. He never seems to me to really impress in GSs though.

Last edited by Drivers (Jul. 13, 2017 5:10pm)

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Re: Best player to never win a slam

Arvis wrote:

It's weird, I hold Berdych and his game in higher esteem than Cilic's, yet Marin's got a Slam and the Berd doesn't.  Doesn't the Berd have more Big 3/4 wins than Cilic, too?


I feel like Berdych is the more consistent player but Cilic's ceiling is higher. I agree it's weird that he has a slam and Cilic doesn't and is the more likely of the two to win one here. Berdych has played a lot more matches against the Big 4 but has both a better win percentage and more wins overall (16 to 6)

Berdych H2H vs. Big Four:16-58
Cilic H2H vs. Big Four: 6-36

Berdych has better stats overall outside of Cilic having a slam. They've each made one slam final and won 1 Masters 1000 title. Berdych has made more slam SFs (6 to 4), more slam QFs (15 to 10), more Masters finals (5 to 1), has more seasons in the Top 10 (7 to 2), more top 10 wins (52 to 28) and has been ranked higher (CH-4 to CH-6).

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Re: Best player to never win a slam

Thanks for the detail Marco. There's a much wider performance gap than I 'd appreciated.

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Re: Best player to never win a slam

Drivers wrote:

Thanks for the detail Marco. There's a much wider performance gap than I 'd appreciated.

Thanks! And I was surprised it was as wide as it as, though here's Cilic now with more GS Finals and a realistic chance to add a second slam. Less consistent but higher peak!

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Re: Best player to never win a slam

Marco19 wrote:

I did run the numbers for the women. I was surprised how high Radwanska was (ahead of Wozniacki) but what really surrpised me was how Shriver was clearly the best of these man or women to never win a slam

1.    Pam Shriver- 50
2.    Agnieszka Radwanska- 37
3t.    Wendy Turnbull- 32
3t.    Caroline Wozniacki- 32
5.    Elena Dementieva- 29

I agree with the list.

Last edited by StuartDallas (Sep. 22, 2017 4:49am)

Re: Best player to never win a slam

What the point system you're using actually shows is how long a player stayed in the top 10, which does NOT equate to how good they were as compared with their contemporaries.  Shriver, for instance, never had a prayer of winning a slam because her game was so dramatically inferior to Evert and Navratilova and, what's more important, she KNEW she couldn't beat them.  But she was a top 10 player for a long time.  Radwanska and Wozniacki and clearly very similar: smart, gifted players without a real weapon of any sort.  The same can be said about Ferrer. 

It seems to me that a player's highest point is FAR more important than how long they were in the top 10 when talking about the best player never to win a slam.  Just  because you were a solid member of the second tier forever does not mean you should have won one.  More to the point, Rios, Soderling and Guillermo Coria were actually EXPECTED to win a major but did not.  It certainly would have been no surprise whatsoever for Kafelnikov to win one.  Plus, Rios and Kafelnikov reached #1 in the world.  Had Ferrer, Berdych, Clerc or Okker won a slam, it would have been stunning, a huge surprise.  A better case can be made that Todd Martin or the erratic Tsonga should have won than that any of those should have done so.

Last edited by Don (Sep. 18, 2017 9:33am)

Re: Best player to never win a slam

No love for Nalbandian?

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Re: Best player to never win a slam

lol!  Nice pick from the past, Aiur.  Not that anybody expected Nalbandian to win one, but he sure had more chances than other, more talented players.  He was a gamer who usually found a way to hang in there, and if he got you to five sets, you were in for a real fight.  Strange guy, oddly throwback sort of game, but effective.  Usually.

However, in his only slam final, Hewitt embarassed him, giving up only 6 games in 3 sets at Wimbledon in '02.  Not the best to fail to win by any stretch, but an interesting addition to the conversation.

Last edited by Don (Sep. 23, 2017 11:11pm)