Best male player to win only one slam

Who is the best male player with only one grand slam title?

  • Tony Roche

    Votes: 4 5.6%
  • Andres Gimeno

    Votes: 3 4.2%
  • Vitas Gerulaitis

    Votes: 2 2.8%
  • Yannick Noah

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Pat Cash

    Votes: 4 5.6%
  • Goran Ivanisevic

    Votes: 13 18.1%
  • Michael Stich

    Votes: 6 8.3%
  • Michael Chang

    Votes: 8 11.1%
  • Andy Roddick

    Votes: 31 43.1%
  • Other (please specify, e.g., Orantes, Tanner, Ferrero, Djokovic....)

    Votes: 1 1.4%

  • Total voters
    72
It's fine. :)

I'll go for Roche.
I think, without his shoulder injury, he could have been a possible GOAT, maybe even better than Laver, as he certainly had the game to do more than bother him.
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
Define "best." If we're talking about peak level, on all surfaces, then Stich, hands down. BTW Djokovic or any other currently active player shouldn't be on the list. And I'll be very surprised to see Nole fail to win another major before retirement.
 

gpt

Professional
I vote for Roche.

In what should have been his prime years 1970 to 74 he was continually side lined by injury.

A great grass court player whose only major was ironically at Roland Garros.
 

urban

Legend
Art Larsen, Dick Savitt and Mal Anderson were really good players. Roche and Stich were indeed the most talented across all surfaces. Injury on Roche' side (the infamous tennis arm), and injury and lack of motivation on Stich's side prevented them from winning a cluster of majors.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
This was a tough choice between Roche and Gimeno. I finally decided on Gimeno because he was for a number of years the third best player in the world behind Laver and Rosewall and probably would have won a number of majors if Open Tennis was around earlier. A very underrated great and better than a lot of players who won more majors.

Roche was just gifted.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHaN2h21ANs

Some of the shots in the above video are just fantastic and Roche was considered the heir apparent to Laver. It never happened but some have thought Roche had the fastest hands they had ever seen in tennis. I think Chris Evert was one of them.

Roche and Newcombe have an excellent argument that they were the GOAT in doubles.
 
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I finally decided on Gimeno because he was for a number of years the third best player in the world behind Laver and Rosewall and probably would have won a number of majors if Open Tennis was around earlier.
How is that? Gimeno couldn't beat Laver and Rosewall at the pro majors; how would adding Emerson, Santana, Ashe, Newcombe, Stolle etc. to the plate improve his chances to take a tournament?

Btw, it is of course true that Gimeno and Roche were very unfortunate to run into Laver and Rosewall. But by the same token, Gerulaitis was unfortunate to run into Borg, McEnroe and Connors, or Roddick was unfortuante to run into Federer.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
How is that? Gimeno couldn't beat Laver and Rosewall at the pro majors; how would adding Emerson, Santana, Ashe, Newcombe, Stolle etc. to the plate improve his chances to take a tournament?

Btw, it is of course true that Gimeno and Roche were very unfortunate to run into Laver and Rosewall. But by the same token, Gerulaitis was unfortunate to run into Borg, McEnroe and Connors, or Roddick was unfortuante to run into Federer.
Gimeno was arguably the third best player of the 1960's. No he could not defeat Laver and Rosewall (at least as much as they defeated him) during the old Pro Tours but given a chance to play Open Tennis he did win the French Open when he was an old man in tennis years. Gimeno was able to defeat Laver and Rosewall numerous times to win tournaments.

The average level of play in the Old Pro Tours was higher than Open tennis I believe. Gimeno played Hoad, Laver, Rosewall, Trabert, Segura, Gonzalez, Sedgman on a regular basis and defeated most of them regularly.

In 1961 Gonzalez, Gimeno, Trabert, Hoad, MacKay, Olmedo and Buchholz. Gonzalez finished first with a 33-14 record and Gimeno finished second with a 27-20 record playing against all these greats. Hoad and Trabert were tied for third with 24-23. MacKay was 22-25. Olmedo-18-29 and Buchholz was last with a 16-31 record.

Gonzalez and Gimeno played off to determined the champion and Gonzalez defeated Gimeno 21 to 7.

After Gonzalez retired, for a number of years Gimeno was perhaps the third best player.
 
Gimeno was arguably the third best player of the 1960's. No he could not defeat Laver and Rosewall (at least as much as they defeated him) during the old Pro Tours but given a chance to play Open Tennis he did win the French Open when he was an old man in tennis years. Gimeno was able to defeat Laver and Rosewall numerous times to win tournaments.
I understand and share your praise for Gimeno; I just fail to understand how adding the best amateurs to the competition in the 1960s would have improved his chances to win a major. Moreover, his one open era title owed less to the fact that the tournament was called "Open", but that the WCT prevented Laver, Rosewall and many other top players from participating.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
I understand and share your praise for Gimeno; I just fail to understand how adding the best amateurs to the competition in the 1960s would have improved his chances to win a major. Moreover, his one open era title owed less to the fact that the tournament was called "Open", but that the WCT prevented Laver, Rosewall and many other top players from participating.
Like I wrote, it's a tough choice but I picked Gimeno based on the fact that I believe he was a great player for most of the 1960's but it was hidden in the fact that he played in the pros.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
Fair enough.
On your behalf if Roddick made that easy backhand volley in the tiebreak against Federer at Wimbledon he probably would have had two majors now and wouldn't be one of the choices here.

What about Michael Stich? Tough player when he was on his A game.
I think Sampras mentioned in his book that Stich was the guy he feared the most. He was so talented.
 
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drwood

Professional
What about Michael Stich? Tough player when he was on his A game.
True, but overall I don't think he was as good as Chang. Similar career stats (career high #2, 1-3 in slam finals), but Chang won more titles and more Masters series events and was a top-5 factor longer than Stich.

With his performance this year, I'd move Roddick ahead of Chang.
 

drwood

Professional
And I'll be very surprised to see Nole fail to win another major before retirement.
I wouldn't be. Unless Djoker does some serious retooling, I don't see him winning another slam -- has been owned lately by Nadal, Murray and Roddick, even if he's able to beat Fed.

Roddick has a better chance of winning another slam than Djoker, IMO unless Djoker significantly elevates his game.
 

SHRIEK

Rookie
i think roddick, he too was born in the wrong generation, with fed and nadal... stealing all of his tropgies, even today.
 

anointedone

Banned
Michael Chang all he way. That guy played so much quality tennis, especialy on hard courts, even on grass. He just peaked when Edberg, Sampras, Becker, Agassi, Courier, were all incredibly strong around the same time from 90-96 and on clay he had to contend with Muster, Bruguera, Courier, Agassi, even Medvedev and Kafelnikov. Pretty tough situation to be in. If he had been born 6 years later and peaked in 97-2002 instead he would have won multiple majors for sure, perhaps quite alot. He would never have dominated since he is too small but could have definitely won more than 1 in another time.
 

NamRanger

G.O.A.T.
Michael Chang all he way. That guy played so much quality tennis, especialy on hard courts, even on grass. He just peaked when Edberg, Sampras, Becker, Agassi, Courier, were all incredibly strong around the same time from 90-96 and on clay he had to contend with Muster, Bruguera, Courier, Agassi, even Medvedev and Kafelnikov. Pretty tough situation to be in. If he had been born 6 years later and peaked in 97-2002 instead he would have won multiple majors for sure, perhaps quite alot. He would never have dominated since he is too small but could have definitely won more than 1 in another time.



The sad part is that when Chang did manage to beat someone he normally couldn't beat (say... Agassi) he would end up playing someone like a Sampras in the final. Poor Chang. Just like that year he ended up playing Muster in the FO final I believe?
 

CyBorg

Legend
Of the ones listed it's probably Gimeno. The interesting thing is that if one included Emerson in this poll instead of Gimeno I bet he would have gotten the most votes or second-most after Roddick.

I think Gimeno may have been every bit as good as Emerson, or close. However his best tennis was played during the pro/amateur split, when he was firmly third behind the greats Laver and Rosewall.

This fact is remarkable considering how many excellent players failed to establish themselves on the circuit and win anything of significance at the time, while Laver and Rosewall piled up the titles. And there were some good ones out there: MacKay, Olmedo, Ayala, Buchholz, Anderson, Davies.

Gimeno won some significant events during that time and then continued some success into the open era years, including that French Open in '72.
 

CyBorg

Legend
How is that? Gimeno couldn't beat Laver and Rosewall at the pro majors; how would adding Emerson, Santana, Ashe, Newcombe, Stolle etc. to the plate improve his chances to take a tournament?
Gimeno won a number of signiciant events against the big names. SgtJohn credited Gimeno with three adjusted majors in the 1960s ("top four events") - Noordwijk in 1964 (d Rosewall), Milan in 1965 (d Rosewall) and Barcelona in 1966 (d Rosewall).

So, he was clearly winning well-attended events and we know that he later won a grand slam event.
 

matchmaker

Hall of Fame
Based on talent alone I would say Stich. One of the few players to win tournaments on all surfaces. A huge underachiever for someone with his talent.

I guess Chang and Roddick have not been very fortunate either, but I don't feel very sorry for them as I feel they are both limited players (a grinder and a server respectively) who have tried and still try to improve their game, but to not so much avail. If you compare them with the potential of Stich, they fall quite short of that.
 
Gimeno won a number of signiciant events against the big names. SgtJohn credited Gimeno with three adjusted majors in the 1960s ("top four events") - Noordwijk in 1964 (d Rosewall), Milan in 1965 (d Rosewall) and Barcelona in 1966 (d Rosewall).
Interesting.

So, he was clearly winning well-attended events and we know that he later won a grand slam event.

.... at an even that was not particularly well attended though.
 
Did Panatta ever become #1? Automatically can't win this argument.
No where you say it, it strikes me that the only player from this list who reached #1 is, I believe, Andy Roddick. Most others peaked at #2 or 3.

Now there are other one-slam winners who rose to #1 and who I did not include in the poll -- Thomas Muster, Carlos Moya, Juan Carlos Ferrero -- but who I would rank below those listed (Muster or Ferrero could maybe be swapped for Noah).
 
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CyBorg

Legend
.... at an even that was not particularly well attended though.
It had the important claycourters I can think of. No Laver/Rosewall, which would have been interesting, but neither of these guys were elite anymore.

However, looking at the quarterfinals I see Panatta, Smith, Orantes, Solomon and Kodes, among others. Nastase lost in the first round.

This is a nice-looking field.
 
It had the important claycourters I can think of. No Laver/Rosewall, which would have been interesting, but neither of these guys were elite anymore.

However, looking at the quarterfinals I see Panatta, Smith, Orantes, Solomon and Kodes, among others. Nastase lost in the first round.

This is a nice-looking field.
I thought Rosewall was still considered top 3 in 1972 (with Smith and Nastase), and Laver was still good enough to play a final grand nailbiter against Rosewall at the WCT finals. Also, a player like Tom Okker could hold his own on clay.
 

AndrewD

Legend
Did Panatta ever become #1? Automatically can't win this argument.
Any discussion regarding Adriano Panatta that places any significance on his rankings is a sure indication that you know absolutely nothing about the man himself. Actually, any discussion that equates 'best' with 'highest ranked' is also a clear indication that knowledge is severely limited.
 

CyBorg

Legend
I thought Rosewall was still considered top 3 in 1972 (with Smith and Nastase), and Laver was still good enough to play a final grand nailbiter against Rosewall at the WCT finals. Also, a player like Tom Okker could hold his own on clay.
No doubt they were good, but the reality was such that Laver and Rosewall tended to miss grand slam events, particularly due to WTT. But that doesn't change the fact that the event was well-attended and therefore the win quite impressive.
 
stich...

michael chang better than stich on what planet???? more american bias.

won wimbledon and got to the final of roland garros and flushing meadows
 
Stich was more talented than Chang but Chang was much harder working, mentally tougher, and many times more consistent. Carlos Moya better than Chang, LOL! Moya isnt that good, only 3 times even past the quarters of a slam. Moya is barely (if any) more accomplished than Chang on clay, and nowhere near as accomplished on hard courts as Chang. Fact is Chang was in serious contention to win a slam many more times than the underachieving headcase Stich or the overrated Moya, but was stopped by the eventual champion so many times often near the finish line.
 

alchn

New User
I still feel sorry for Roddick not winning the last Wimbledon... Not really a fan of his, but watching that match really felt for him. I think he deserved it after so many years trying.
 

35ft6

Legend
Out of that bunch, I might say Roddick, too. In my mind, it's between him and Stich, but from what I remember, Stich just didn't have the fire. He didn't even care about being top dog in Germany, it seemed, let alone the world, if only for a two week stretch. Personally, I think Chang was an overachiever. A great player through sheer force of will, but I think Roddick and Stich are better.
 
carlos moya was better than chang, chang was never number 1

and the likes of sampras, becker and agassi all owned chang
Agassi vs. Chang 15-7 (3-2 at Grand Slams)
Agassi vs. Moya 3-1
Agassi vs. Stich 6-0

Becker vs. Chang 6-1
Becker vs. Moya 2-2 (Becker was past his prime)
Becker vs. Stich 8-4

Sampras vs. Chang 12-8
Sampras vs. Moya 3-1
Sampras vs. Stich 4-5

Share of wins against Agassi, Becker and Sampras combined:

Chang: 0.33
Moya: 0.33
Stich: 0.33

Doing a little homework before posting would do you well.
 

drwood

Professional
Any discussion regarding Adriano Panatta that places any significance on his rankings is a sure indication that you know absolutely nothing about the man himself. Actually, any discussion that equates 'best' with 'highest ranked' is also a clear indication that knowledge is severely limited.
You're right, I know little about him. I just know what he did in his tennis career.
 

drwood

Professional
Stich was more talented than Chang but Chang was much harder working, mentally tougher, and many times more consistent. Carlos Moya better than Chang, LOL! Moya isnt that good, only 3 times even past the quarters of a slam. Moya is barely (if any) more accomplished than Chang on clay, and nowhere near as accomplished on hard courts as Chang. Fact is Chang was in serious contention to win a slam many more times than the underachieving headcase Stich or the overrated Moya, but was stopped by the eventual champion so many times often near the finish line.
Amen -- the only LEGITIMATE argument for Moya is that he crushed prime Chang at the 97 Aus Open SF (so he has as many Aus Open F as Chang) and also made US Open SF once.

That being said, only Federer has won as many Indian Wells Masters as Chang, so overall HC resume is not even close between the two.

And prime Chang was better than prime Stich, even though prime Stich was capable of playing better when at his absolute best.
 

droliver

Professional
Gotta be Stich as he was the most talented player of the peer group before Sampras. So unbelievably well rounded! I think he was little lucky to win a slam though as he was the underdog in all 3 finals(vs Becker, Kafelnikov, and Sampras).

I think it's a little surprising though (when you look at the context of his era) that Goran Ivanisevic never came thru again at Wimbledon. His serve was so overwhelming on grass, even more so then Sampras.
 

drwood

Professional
Gotta be Stich as he was the most talented player of the peer group before Sampras. So unbelievably well rounded! I think he was little lucky to win a slam though as he was the underdog in all 3 finals(vs Becker, Kafelnikov, and Sampras).

I think it's a little surprising though (when you look at the context of his era) that Goran Ivanisevic never came thru again at Wimbledon. His serve was so overwhelming on grass, even more so then Sampras.
Stich was the most talented, but talent alone does not equal greatness. He lost several 1st rd slam matches in his prime on HC and grass even after winning 1991 Wimbledon. Stich never played sampras in a slam final -- he crushed Becker in 1991 Wimbledon, was crushed by Agassi in 1994 US Open, and handled by Kafelnikov in 1996 French.

Ivanisevic was a headcase and had a terrible return of serve -- which was why he was never a threat at a HC slam except the 1996 US Open (SF) despite being a threat at Wimbledon from 1990-2001.
 
Agassi vs. Chang 15-7 (3-2 at Grand Slams)
Agassi vs. Moya 3-1
Agassi vs. Stich 6-0

Becker vs. Chang 6-1
Becker vs. Moya 2-2 (Becker was past his prime)
Becker vs. Stich 8-4

Sampras vs. Chang 12-8
Sampras vs. Moya 3-1
Sampras vs. Stich 4-5

Share of wins against Agassi, Becker and Sampras combined:

Chang: 0.33
Moya: 0.33
Stich: 0.33

Doing a little homework before posting would do you well.
as i said all 3 pretty much owned chang. when was chang number 1???? becker trounced chang in australia. stich has a winning record vs sampras arguably the greatest of all time. and chang won roland garros by serving underhand vs lendl. If becker would have beat edberg in that 5 set semi he would have trounced chang and had a career slam...
 
chang vs stich 3-3
chang vs moya 0-5


stich vs moya never played.


again chang loses. more american bias.

costa was a better player than chang


costa vs chang 2-1
costa vs stich 1-0
 

flying24

Banned
as i said all 3 pretty much owned chang. when was chang number 1???? becker trounced chang in australia. stich has a winning record vs sampras arguably the greatest of all time. and chang won roland garros by serving underhand vs lendl. If becker would have beat edberg in that 5 set semi he would have trounced chang and had a career slam...
1998-early 1999 was an absolutely horrible time for mens tennis. That is why someone like Moya became #1 for a mere 1 week, but he is one of the biggest joke #1s in history. Chang was perennialy close to the top while Sampras, Agassi, Becker, Edberg, Courier, all jointly ruled the sport. If he had gotten to #1 after being #2 behind Sampras for a good chunk of time, and top 5 so long, people would not have found him as bogus a #1 as someone like Moya and his 1 week stint is still looked at today. Stich was never #1 either and was #2 for less time than Chang, peaking during the same deeper field Chang peaked against. Moya was only #1 for a mere 1 week due to the joke year for mens tennis. The only reason people dont laugh even more at Moya being #1 is he barely spent any time there, otherwise he would riduculed nearly as much as Rios is. If Chang had his prime from 1997-2002 like Moya did instead of 1992-1997 he would have spent some time at #1, and more than Moya did.
 
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