Originally Posted by bluetrain4
Problem is, there's no set definition when it comes to tennis journeyman. Not everyone agrees, so the discussion is stilted to start with.
To me, a journeyman is someone who has done well enough actually make a living playing tennis, but has never really "broken through" consistently. But, then what does "broken through" mean? A good Slam run, a ranking good enough to gain auto entry into many (even if not all) tournaments, a tournament win (even if a small one). But, even then, if a player achieves one of these things on one occasion and then goes away, I think he's still a journeyman.
Donald Young had a little run where me made USO fourth round, made some 250 and 500 semis and finals, got to 40ish in the rankings. But, he then lost all of his points and is now playing qualifers and challengers. If he does this for the majority of he rest of his career, I'd call him a journeyman. If he somehow gets back to the Top 40 and has those results again and maintains them for a while, then maybe not.
The thing is, tennis commentators use "journeyman" very generally - basically, anyone who has been around along time, but never did anything "big" (again, we can debate what "big" means). So, it's applied to a wide range of players. I've even heard it applied to players who clearly achieved non-journeyman results, but then stuck around and results dwindled. Thus, I've heard reference to the "journeyman phase of his/her career."
Right now, I think of Tim Smyczek as a true journeyman.