Best player never to make a Slam final?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Mainad, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. Mainad

    Mainad G.O.A.T.

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    IMO, it has to be Tim Henman.

    Made 6 semi-finals altogether: 4 at Wimbledon (1998, 1999, 2001, 2002), 1 at the French Open (2004) and 1 at the US Open (2004).

    Am open to suggestions though. Has anyone been in more Slam semis than Tim but failed to make a final?
     
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  2. Gonzo_style

    Gonzo_style Hall of Fame

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    IMO it's Nikolay Davydenko
     
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  3. SStrikerR

    SStrikerR Hall of Fame

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    Has haas been in one?
     
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  4. Gonzo_style

    Gonzo_style Hall of Fame

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    No, but he was world #2, better than Davy and Henman
     
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  5. President

    President Legend

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    Davydenko, he was in the top 5 for many years, won several Masters and even a WTF.
     
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  6. tacou

    tacou Legend

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    All three are good nods but that is a wide open category, I'm sure there are plenty of players I can't think of that fit the bill.

    But on form Davy earned the nickname "the machine" for good reason, so he gets my nod
     
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  7. Gonzo_style

    Gonzo_style Hall of Fame

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    Davydenko deserved to play final in RG 2005, it is a real shame...
     
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  8. augustobt

    augustobt Hall of Fame

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    Haas. Gonzalez was too good for the german back in the OZ '07.
     
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  9. McEnroeisanartist

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    I don't know how it could be anyone but Tim Henman. He reached 6 grand slam semifinals. This is the most of any player who never reached a grand slam final.
     
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  10. batz

    batz G.O.A.T.

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    On 3 surfaces to boot. It's Tim for me.
     
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  11. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    I agree, it's definitely Henman. I still remember how agonisingly close he was to reaching the 2001 W final - he won the 3rd set 6-0 against Ivanisevic to go 2-1 sets up and was wiping the floor with him. Then of course, the rain set in for two days, and Goran squeaked through to the final (4th set went to a tie-break where Tim was 2 or 3 points from winning the match).

    By the way, the previous record for most semis without being in a final was held by Jiro Satoh, a Japanese player from the 1930s, who reached five.
     
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  12. heftylefty

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    Tim Henman is a great choice.
    I would include Tommy Haas.
     
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  13. The Bawss

    The Bawss Banned

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    I know it's been said but it's Tim Henman by a country mile.
     
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  14. whoopinstick

    whoopinstick Rookie

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    Marcelo Rios...end of thread
     
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  15. President

    President Legend

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    How on earth do you come to that conclusion? Henman has 6 GS SF which is very good, but only 1 Masters title (and in Paris, at that). Davydenko has 3 Masters. Henman has 11 titles, Davydenko has 21. Davydenko made 4 GS semis, losing to Federer in 3 of them and a doper (Puerta) in the other one. To top it all off, Davydenko has a WTF title which outstrips anything Henman ever did in his career.
     
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  16. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    Er.....1998 AO final?
     
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  17. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    Rios played in the 98 AO final. Rios would be a great candidate for "best player to only go once past the quarterfinal stage in a major"
     
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  18. single_handed_champion

    single_handed_champion Professional

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    Its hard to believe Davydenko made only 4 semis. It seemed like he was in the top 4 forever during the Federer era. Just really consistent all year long (his suckage on grass is a major knock though) but his best form was usually not enough to do it in a best-of-5 format match after match.

    Henman it is.

    Incidentally, Nalbandian's lone final came when nobody expected it. Failing to make one after that ought to rank up there even in this thread.
     
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  19. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Raul Ramirez is a contender. He won tournaments like Monte Carlo and Rome on clay, Queen's Club on grass and Wembley on carpet. He was a 2-time semi finalist at the French Open, a semi finalist at Wimbledon and a quarter finalist at the US Open. He never played at the Australian Open.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
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  20. Mainad

    Mainad G.O.A.T.

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    I agree with you that Davydenko was the better overall player. His results in non-Slam tournaments were far superior and he achieved a higher ranking than Henman.

    But in Slams, Henman clearly has the advantage. 6 semi-finals beats 4. That is why I think Henman has to be called the best player never to reach a final simply because he was a semi-finalist in Slams more times than anybody else.
     
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  21. Mainad

    Mainad G.O.A.T.

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    That is a really weird stat. Why was Rios so poor at the Slams? He reached the #1 ranking and yet he only ever made it past the quarters on ONE occasion!
    It can't be as if the best of 5 format didn't suit him or anything because he won 5 Masters tournaments including the clay triple when they were all played in best of 5 format.

    Has any #1 player in history ever had such poor results in the Slams as Rios?
     
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  22. Fedex

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    Your miles must be very short Bawbags.
     
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  23. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    I don't think Rios was fond of 7 best-of-5 set matches over 2 weeks, as it demands the highest level of both mental and physical preparation, and the former not always the strongest point of Rios. In Masters Series events, it was best-of-3 set matches until the final, with the final being best-of-5 sets unless weather intervened.

    Still, Rios was the pre-tournament favourite for the 1998 French Open (lost to eventual champion, Moya, in the quarter finals) and was briefly favourite for the 1999 Australian Open after Sampras pulled out through exhaustion, but then Rios had to pull out of the tournament through injury just before the tournament began. Rios was also second favourite behind Kuerten for the 1999 French Open, but both men lost in the quarter finals, Rios to Hrbaty and Kuerten to Medvedev.
     
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  24. ruerooo

    ruerooo Legend

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    It might end up being Ferru. He was Spanish player of the year this year.

    I'd say Feña, except he made the 2007 AO final.
     
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  25. Sabratha

    Sabratha G.O.A.T.

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    I'm going to say Nikolay Davydenko.
     
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  26. President

    President Legend

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    2 more slam semis is not that much IMO to say that Henman was a clearly better player in slams. Davydenko also reached 2 more QF than Henman in majors. That, coupled with IMO a higher peak level of play (good enough to greatly trouble Federer and even beat him at an important event like the WTF) makes him the best player to never win a slam. He was just a better player overall than Henman, and deserved a major final more.
     
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  27. LanEvo

    LanEvo Hall of Fame

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    Rodger Federer
     
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  28. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    I want to say Tommy Haas but objectively it cant be him. I would say Davydenko I guess. Henman was only a threat on 1 surface, even though he did make a French and U.S Open semis he was never making the finals of either, and even on grass there are so many superior players in his era it isnt surprising he never made a final although he had chances to (especialy 2001). Rios was only a force for 1 year.
     
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  29. Towser83

    Towser83 Legend

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    Dvydenko is a good call, WTF and 2 masters, some good wins over Nadal and Federer at the former, gave Federer a huge scare in the AO 2010.

    Henman shocked me when he was a set and a break up vs Coria in RG but even if he was 2 sets to 0 I doubt he would have won. His best chance was in Wimbledon 2001 and though everyone in England loves to blame the rain, Goran had righted the ship by the time if came. Also saw that he was good at calming the waters in the final (at one point I thought he had lost his head when he got angry and kicked the net) Goran was not to be beaten that year. If any year someone was destined to win it, it was that year. Sadly Tim got in his way.
     
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  30. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    Men: Davydenko

    Women: Petrova, Manuela Maleeva
     
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  31. tennisaddict

    tennisaddict G.O.A.T.

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    Henman will laugh at this thread. Davydenko and Ferrer would cry.
     
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  32. kOaMaster

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    Ferrer is not far away I think.
     
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  33. Paul Murphy

    Paul Murphy Hall of Fame

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    Henman with an honourable mention to Davydenko.
     
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  34. MichaelNadal

    MichaelNadal Bionic Poster

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    Davydenko, Ferrer, Blake?
     
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  35. DropShotArtist

    DropShotArtist Banned

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    Wayne Ferreira
     
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  36. Feather

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    Seriously, what an incredible win..

    I think that was the greatest Tennis moment in the 21st century.. I always wanted Goran to win, and he did. After 2009 Wimbledon final, I wished one day Roddick will also win Wimbledon with a fairy tale script. Sadly it won't happen
     
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  37. Sabratha

    Sabratha G.O.A.T.

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    The sad thing is he came so close in 2009 he could almost smell the victory.
     
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  38. PhrygianDominant

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    Objectively I think Davydenko.

    Runnersup: Henman, Haas and Blake (sentimental favorite)
     
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  39. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    Blake? He won only ten 250, reached only three quarter final, and was totally irrelevant at Wimby and RG. He isn't even a candidate for best player to never reach a slam semi-final! (however I agree that he is likable :)

    Davydenko is the man, with Henman, Haas and Ferrer just behind. There is certainly some player of the older era I don't know, though.
     
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  40. ericsson

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    Haas by far, great talent and has all the shots...
     
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  41. batz

    batz G.O.A.T.

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    Henman is the man because slam performances trump everything and 6 slam semis are 50% more than his greatest rival for the accolade (Davy).

    Before Murray won the USO, very few people argued that he had accomplished more than Delpo, because the big man had achieved more at grand slams than Murray had i.e. all those slam finals, masters series wins and other titles were trumped by Delpo's solitary better performance in the slams.

    It follows therefore that Henman's better slam results trump anything that other players might have done away from the slams.

    If Davy had matched Tim's slam record then his other achivements would swing things his way - but the fact is he made 50% fewer slam semis than Tim, QED Davy is not the best player never to make a slam final.
     
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  42. Sabratha

    Sabratha G.O.A.T.

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    Murray was set for a similar path as Tim, being the best male tennis player never to win a major - a step above where Tim sits. It is good that Murray dug deep and won the US Open, putting himself further above Tim. Murray is quite possibly the best British male tennis player in the open era.
     
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  43. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    Were you one of them? I find it very limited to judge the player's resume only on their slam result (or victories). Three master 1000, 1 WTF, show that he could win big. His load of smaller tournaments show that he could beat regularly thoose whom he should beat (which is what most players lack).

    Using your criterions, Brugera is a better player than Murray (2 slams, 2 master 1000, 1 one silver medal when it meant little. Well, two slams is better than one), Verkerk is better than Henman, Davydenko, Haas, Ferrer, etc. (he did reach a slam final).

    I regard consistency higher than wisp.
     
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  44. batz

    batz G.O.A.T.

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    I was - until Murray won USO I agreed on several occasions on here that Delpo had achieved more than him. I would say that as of today that Brugera has achieved more than Murray.
     
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