Originally Posted by Mainad
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.
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.