Great years with no major title- men

boredone3456

G.O.A.T.
Same as the women's thread, just for the guys

A few that came to my mind

Wilander in 1987
Lendl in 1983
Connors in 1975
 

Gizo

Hall of Fame
I think that Lendl's 1982 is up there with the best of them. He won 15 official titles include the WCT Finals and Masters (crushing Connors and McEnroe back to back). He also won highly rated, elite unsanctioned events in Toronto, Melbourne, Antwerp and Chicago, all of which should count.

Officially he had a perfect 4-0 record against McEnroe and a 2-1 record against Connors (although of course he lost their match that really mattered). If you include unsanctioned events he was 8-1 against McEnroe (and Mac's solitary win in Chicago was meaningless as Lendl won that event anyway) and 4-1 against Connors.

It is arguably the most dominant indoor season any player has ever had (at least in the open era), with only Mac's 1984 rivalling it.
 

Gizo

Hall of Fame
I think I would rank Connors's 1977 over his 1975 season. In 1977 he won the WCT Finals and Masters, and was the runner-up at Wimbledon in that tense final against Borg and at the US Open against Vilas.

In 1975 he won an extra title and reached an extra major final. However the quality of his titles in 1977 was better, plus the 1975 Aussie Open was such a lightweight major anyway (Newk and Jimbo squared off in the final but no other top 20 players showed up). Plus in 1977 he had much tougher competition through an older and better Borg, Vilas, Tanner etc.

In some respects 1975 was a wasted year for Jimbo though, as 1974-1976 could have been the interrupted Connors era. However he kept coming up short in big matches on 1975 (including the Davis Cup play-off in Mexico City against Ramirez), plus he didn't train as hard compared to 1974 and was enjoying the high life a bit too much.
 
7

70sHollywood

Guest
Looking at 1982 for a second, McEnroe is often regarded as one of the worst YE#1's due to the fact that he didn't win a slam and there were 2 players who clearly had a better claim, but his year was good for a non-slam winner. His win/loss record of 89% was the joint 2nd best of his career.

I'd also mention Rod Laver in 1974. He didn't play in any of the slams and was done for the year half way through the season, but still finished 4th in the rankings and won 2 of the biggest non-slam titles in Philadelphia and Las Vegas.

Another "4th best player in the world" that had a great year was Murray in 2011.

Also, Federer last year and both Murray and Federer this year if they don't win the US.
 
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timnz

Legend
Same as the women's thread, just for the guys

A few that came to my mind

Wilander in 1987
Lendl in 1983
Connors in 1975
Lendl's 1982 was far better than his 1983 in my opinion. He was only 1 match away from being undisputed number 1 (if he had won the US Open final against Connors). He won 15 official tournaments (including the Masters and the WCT Finals), and 3 unofficial tournaments (including the Antwerp - European Champions' Championship) and in 5 other tournaments he was runner-up, including the US Open final (and also 1 unofficial runner-up - Sydney - Akai Gold Challenge). So that is 20 official finals (winning 15 of them) and 4 unofficial tournaments (winning 3 of them). Just immense. I am sure it is the best year ever without a major win.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Laver in 1970 is one of the best. He won Dunlop a de facto major and the champions classic as well. Plus another dozen or so tournaments? Arguably #1 with dominant h2h's with the other contenders.
 
7

70sHollywood

Guest
Laver in 1970 is one of the best. He won Dunlop a de facto major and the champions classic as well. Plus another dozen or so tournaments? Arguably #1 with dominant h2h's with the other contenders.
Ah ****, of course! Totally forgot that one. I would say this and Lendl in 82 are by far the best. I'd give the edge to Lendl, but at the same time Laver in 1970 is the only year I would consider ranking a non-slam winner as the number 1.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Ah ****, of course! Totally forgot that one. I would say this and Lendl in 82 are by far the best. I'd give the edge to Lendl, but at the same time Laver in 1970 is the only year I would consider ranking a non-slam winner as the number 1.
Yeah I actually think Laver in 1970 was probably the #1 player or at least the best player 1 vs 1 and against the whole tour - whether his results denote that standing is a different debate.
 

halbrikj

Rookie
I think that Lendl's 1982 is up there with the best of them. He won 15 official titles include the WCT Finals and Masters (crushing Connors and McEnroe back to back). He also won highly rated, elite unsanctioned events in Toronto, Melbourne, Antwerp and Chicago, all of which should count.

Officially he had a perfect 4-0 record against McEnroe and a 2-1 record against Connors (although of course he lost their match that really mattered). If you include unsanctioned events he was 8-1 against McEnroe (and Mac's solitary win in Chicago was meaningless as Lendl won that event anyway) and 4-1 against Connors.

It is arguably the most dominant indoor season any player has ever had (at least in the open era), with only Mac's 1984 rivalling it.
Right, I think Lendl's 82 was better than his 83.
 

timnz

Legend
Connors 77
McEnroe 82
McEnroe 85
Muster 96
Why do you think that McEnroe's 1982 rates? He won a third of the titles that Lendl did that year. And McEnroe's top 3 titles he won were at best Masters 1000 equivalents. Lendl that year won the WCT finals and the Masters - and dominated McEnroe in every match they played.
 

halbrikj

Rookie
Why do you think that McEnroe's 1982 rates? He won a third of the titles that Lendl did that year. And McEnroe's top 3 titles he won were at best Masters 1000 equivalents. Lendl that year won the WCT finals and the Masters - and dominated McEnroe in every match they played.
Lendl did have a slightly better 82 than Mac, but I think John had an excellent year - considering no majors. This is all off memory: Wimbledon final, USO semi, he won every tournament he played after the USO, i.e. SF, Wembley, Australia, and Tokyo, and capped it off by winning the Davis Cup, not to mention finals at the masters and Dallas.
 

fezer

Rookie
Becker had a strong year in 88. Won WCT Dallas and Masters. Wimbledon final. Indian Wells, Tokyo and Stockholm Titles. Davis Cup won in Sweden vs Wilander (1) and Edberg (3). In prize money he was on par with Wilander.
 

timnz

Legend
Lendl did have a slightly better 82 than Mac, but I think John had an excellent year - considering no majors. This is all off memory: Wimbledon final, USO semi, he won every tournament he played after the USO, i.e. SF, Wembley, Australia, and Tokyo, and capped it off by winning the Davis Cup, not to mention finals at the masters and Dallas.
Winning 3 times as many titles (including the WCT Finals and Masters - both final match wins over McEnroe) is not 'slightly' better. Absolute domination of McEnroe in every official match. McEnroe's 1982 was good, but not great. It would be reasonable to rate him #3 for the year (most commentators did).
 

BGod

Legend
Rafter was pretty balls in 2001.

Barely loses that epic to Ivanisevic at Wimbledon, makes back to back Masters Finals and finishes the year at #7.

As for serious consideration, it's always going to be Lendl. The Finalist Champion. 82, 83 or 88, take your pick. In 82 he went 106–9 and won 15 titles but he only competed at 2 Slams making 1 Final. 83 is his strongest year at the Slams without winning one.

Andy Murray in 2011 was also fairly unreal. Makes the Semifinals at all the Slams including 1 Final and wins 2 Masters titles. That was Djokovic's madhouse year so he did pretty well. Last I'll throw Wilander in 87.

As a bonus I'll also mention Federer's last season. I mean, 7 Finals out of the 14 main events. Only got the 2 Masters but still overall fantastic and year end #2.
 

jean pierre

Professional
Vilas 82. Won Rotterdam and Milan against Connors, Monte-Carlo and Madrid against Lendl, final in FO, semi-final in USO.
 

KG1965

Legend
Connors in 1977 (Masters NY, Masters Dallas, Challenge Cup WCT, Las Vegas) ... Number one ATP
Lendl in 1982 (Cincinnati, Masters NY, Masters Dallas + Molson NO ATP , Antwerp NO ATP).
 

halbrikj

Rookie
Winning 3 times as many titles (including the WCT Finals and Masters - both final match wins over McEnroe) is not 'slightly' better. Absolute domination of McEnroe in every official match. McEnroe's 1982 was good, but not great. It would be reasonable to rate him #3 for the year (most commentators did).
McEnroe finished the year ranked ahead of Lendl.
 

halbrikj

Rookie
Winning 3 times as many titles (including the WCT Finals and Masters - both final match wins over McEnroe) is not 'slightly' better. Absolute domination of McEnroe in every official match. McEnroe's 1982 was good, but not great. It would be reasonable to rate him #3 for the year (most commentators did).
"McEnroe's 1982 was good, but not great"
Agreed, but we're talking about great years w/o winning slam, and again, I'd say W finals, US semis, and the DC is about as good a year as one can have w/o winning a slam. I do think Lendl's year was better, however, I would say only slightly better, i.e. I'm pretty sure he would've traded the masters and Dallas wins for the Davis Cup. Also, most of the other events he was winning were smaller events, e.g. WCT Chicago, Hartford, etc, whereas Mac was winning grand prix events.
 

halbrikj

Rookie
Edberg in 1989 - FO F, Wim F, AO QF, Won the YEC
Yeah, ol' Stevey Edberg had a decent year in 89, but he couldn't hold a candle to the year Francis Hunter had in '28, I mean literally - when it got dark enough sometimes we had to hold candles just to see the ball. We also had to wear white trousers and sweaters when we played, but that's the way it was and we liked it!
 

Djokovic2011

Bionic Poster
Surprised no one's mentioned Murray's 2015. AO RU, RG SF, Wim SF plus he's won titles on all three surfaces including 2 Masters + RU in Miami. He's also lead GB into the Davis Cup final and is currently 61-10 for the season. Andy's consistency this year has been very impressive!
 

halbrikj

Rookie
Surprised no one's mentioned Murray's 2015. AO RU, RG SF, Wim SF plus he's won titles on all three surfaces including 2 Masters + RU in Miami. He's also lead GB into the Davis Cup final and is currently 61-10 for the season. Andy's consistency this year has been very impressive!
This is the "former" pro player talk forum." Weez don't follow the modern game so much on account of most modern players ain't got much variety to their games, nor personalities. Who is this Murray cat you speak of?
 

Olli Jokinen

Semi-Pro
Becker had a strong year in 88. Won WCT Dallas and Masters. Wimbledon final. Indian Wells, Tokyo and Stockholm Titles. Davis Cup won in Sweden vs Wilander (1) and Edberg (3). In prize money he was on par with Wilander.
Becker did not play Wilander in the DC final. Wilander was injured, and did not play the sunday match. He played and lost to Steeb on the first day, though
 
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