lowest-ranked players to win a tournament

vive le beau jeu !

Talk Tennis Guru
list of lowest-ranked players to win an ATP-tour-level tournament
(colour indicates the surface/conditions; highest career ranking, age at the time & total number of titles are also shown; last thing is the way they made it into the draw)

  • #550 lleyton hewitt AUS (#1), 16, adelaide 1998 (1st/30, almost defended his title the following year) WC
  • #453 yahiya doumbia SEN (#74), 24, lyon 1988 (1st/2, twice in the list !) Q
  • #397 kelly jones USA (#86), 25, singapore 1989 (1st/2, only one in the list, with krickstein, to defend his title) Q
  • #390 danny saltz USA (#122), 22, auckland 1984 (1st/1) Q
  • #??? aaron krickstein USA (#6), 16, tel aviv 1983 (1st/9, see bottom note) WC?
  • #364 roberto arguello ARG (#49), 20, venice 1983 (1st/1) Q
  • #355 pablo andujar ESP (#32), 32, marrakech 2018 (4th/4) PR
  • #335 juan manuel cerundolo ARG (#181), 19, cordoba 2021 (1st/1) Q
  • #352 fernando gonzalez CHI (#5), 19, orlando 2000 (1st/11) Q
  • #349 tommy haas GER (#2), 26, houston 2004 (6th/15) PR
  • #316 santiago ventura ESP (#65), 24, casablanca 2004 (1st/1) Q
  • #297 steve darcis BEL (#44), 23, amersfoort 2007 (1st/2) Q
  • #282 yahiya doumbia SEN (#74), 32, bordeaux 1995 (2nd/2, twice in the list !) Q
  • #272 robert van't hof USA (#25), 30, auckland 1984 (2nd/2) Q
  • #258 nicolas lapentti ECU (#6), 19, bogota 1995 (1st/5, same week as doumbia !) Q
  • #244 kei nishikori JAP (#4), 18, delray beach 2008 (1st/12) Q
  • #243 pat cash AUS (#4), 24, hong kong 1990 (7th/7, played & lost the final in seoul the previous week, while ranked #590... against the same final opponent: antonitsch) WC
  • #243 andy murray UK (#1), 32, antwerp 2019 (46th/46) PR
  • #240 nicolas mahut FRA (#37), 31, 's-hertogenbosch 2013 (1st/4) Q
  • #218 leonardo lavalle MEX (#51), 24, tel aviv 1991 (1st/1) Q
  • #217? heinz gunthardt SWI (#22), 19, springfield 1978 (1st/5, first time a LL won a tournament) LL
  • #217 sergio casal ESP (#31), 22, florence 1985 (1st/1) Q
  • #214 mark philippoussis AUS (#8!), 29, newport 2006 (11th/11, and he played his 1st final at at scottstdale 1995, being ranked #272) WC
  • #212 mark edmondson AUS (#15), 21, AO 1976 (1st/6) DA
  • #212 mardy fish USA (#7), 24, houston 2006 (2nd/6) WC
  • #210 carsten arriens GER (#109), 23, guaruja 1992 (1st/1) Q
  • #210 jo-wilfried tsonga FRA (#5), 33, montpellier 2019 (17th/17) PR
  • #209 sergiy stakhovsky UKR (#31), 22, zagreb 2008 (1st/4) LL
  • #205 tim van rijthoven NED (#?), 25, ‘s-Hertogenbosch (1st/1) WC
  • #204 jose francisco altur ESP (#88!), 23, san marino 1989 (1st/1) Q
(active players in bold)

finalists whose ranking was worse than hewitt's:
#866 sluiter
#590 cash

feel free to help me to correct me or/and complete the list, it's a team effort. :)
- here i only included players ranked #200 and further
- remember that ATP rankings started in 1973

as regards krickstein, i had read many times that he wasn't ranked at the time, which surprised me as he reached the 4th round of the US open a few weeks before his maiden title. does anybody have more information about that ?
for tennisabstract.com, he wasn't ranked:
http://www.tennisabstract.com/cgi-bin/player.cgi?p=AaronKrickstein&f=ACareerqq
(but it seems that when rankings are missing for a particular week, they display the last ranking available in their database, so it's not 100% reliable !)

special mention for yahiya doumbia: only won 24 ATP-level career matches, but won 2 tournaments... each time as a qualifier !
(an achievement matched by nicolas mahut... with his 2 's-hertogenbosch titles won as a qualifier: 2013 and 2015)

doumbia, lapentti, ventura, altur and cerundolo won the first ATP-level tournament they played.
 
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G

Golden

Guest
If we're including women, Kimmie definitely deserves to be up there.
 

vive le beau jeu !

Talk Tennis Guru
Wasn't Kuerten like 160 when he won the FO?
No, he was between 60 and 70 i think, maybe 67 or something like that.
indeed, he was #66.

as regards slams, i think edmonson (#212 at 1976 AO, but with a direct entry in the draw) and ivanisevic (#125 at W 2001, as a WC) are at the top of the list. ;)
(all this being since the start of the ATP rankings in 1973, of course)
 

vive le beau jeu !

Talk Tennis Guru
found some other interesting stuff, that i stil need to check/order.

tournament winners that could be added to the list (do we put the cut at #200 ?):

  • #272 clerc, florence 1978
  • #245 martinez, bordeaux 1980 (see bottom note)
  • #214 philippoussis, newport 2006 (his last title... and he also played his 1st final at scottstdale in 1995 being ranked #272)
  • #213 gunthardt, springfield 1978 (LL)
  • #212 edmondson, AO 1976 (already mentioned earlier... it was a slam !)
#189 giammalga jr, napa 1980
#181 ram, newport 2009 (LL)
#166 rusedsk, newport 2004
#157 rosset, geneva 1989
#155 karlovic, bogota 2013 (also played 2 other finals while being ranked outside the top100: l. to murray, san jose 2007, and d. zabaleta, houston 2007)
#151 rusedski newport 1993 (lots of newports !) ;)

finalists (following post #2 with sluiter, #866 at 's-hertogenbosch 2007)
#416 isner, washington 2007
#303 kulti, halle 1999

martinez is strange... ranked #245, but 3rd seed ! probably due to the coexistence of 2 ranking systems at the time ?...
(makes me wonder again about the krickstein case ! cf. post #1)
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=234215
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=130373
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=189367
 

vive le beau jeu !

Talk Tennis Guru
some others

#272 Van't Hoff, Seoul 1989
#390 Saltz, Auckland 1984
#364 Arguello, Venice 1983
thx ! :)
any idea about krickstein, by the way ? ;)

martinez is strange... ranked #245, but 3rd seed ! probably due to the coexistence of 2 ranking systems at the time ?...
(makes me wonder again about the krickstein case ! cf. post #1)
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=234215
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=130373
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=189367
after further investigation, this one seems wrong.
http://www.tennisabstract.com/cgi-bin/player.cgi?p=MarioMartinez&f=ACareerqqE0
what a coincidence if his ranking that week matched his ranking at the end of 1979 !
http://www.atpworldtour.com/Tennis/Players/Ma/M/Mario-Martinez.aspx?t=rh
i guess tennisabstract just displayed the last available ranking for that player... which would explain why he was seeded:
http://www.itftennis.com/procircuit/tournaments/men's-tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1010002071

thus, i need to check the complementary list of post #14... and i still have a doubt about krickstein being unranked when he won tel aviv !
 

bluetrain4

G.O.A.T.
Roberto Carretero was ranked outside the Top 300 when he came out of absolutely nowhere to win the Masters at Hamburg in 1996 as a qualifier. He had no other significant results on the main tour.
 

vive le beau jeu !

Talk Tennis Guru
Roberto Carretero was ranked outside the Top 300 when he came out of absolutely nowhere to win the Masters at Hamburg in 1996 as a qualifier. He had no other significant results on the main tour.
ummm... sure about that ?
i thought he was something around #150 when he won it...
(still an incredible and unexpected win !) :)
 

ScentOfDefeat

G.O.A.T.
I remember watching that Carretero run. It was one of the first clay tournaments I followed from start to finish. Amazing stuff, especially considering the depth in clay court tennis at the time.
 

vive le beau jeu !

Talk Tennis Guru
i'm updating the original post thanks to the recent input. :)

so just to keep track of the original version...
list of lowest-ranked players to win an ATP-tour-level tournament
(colour indicates the surface; highest career ranking, age at the time & total number of titles are also shown)

  • #N/A aaron krickstein USA (#6), 16, tel aviv 1983 (1st/9, see bottom note)
  • #550 lleyton hewitt AUS (#1), 16, adelaide 1998 (1st/30, almost defended his title the following year)
  • #453 yahiya doumbia SEN (#74), 24, lyon 1988 (1st/2, twice in the list !)
  • #397 kelly jones USA (#86), 25, singapore 1989 (1st/2, only one in the list to defend his title)
  • #352 fernando gonzalez CHI (#5), 19, orlando 2000 (1st/11)
  • #349 tommy haas GER (#2), 26, houston 2004 (6th/15)
  • #316 santiago ventura ESP (#65), 24, casablanca 2004 (1st/1)
  • #297 steve darcis BEL (#44), 23, amersfoort 2007 (1st/2)
  • #282 yahiya doumbia SEN (#74), 32, bordeaux 1995 (2nd/2, twice in the list !)
  • #258 nicolas lapentti ECU (#6), 19, bogota 1995 (1st/5, same week as doumbia !)
  • #244 kei nishikori JAP (#5), 18, delray beach 2008 (1st/7)
  • #243 pat cash AUS (#4), 24, hong kong (7th/7)
  • #240 nicolas mahut FRA (#37), 31, 's-hertogenbosch 2013 (1st/2)
(active players in bold)

feel free to help me to correct me or/and complete the list, it's a team effort. :)


as regards krickstein, i had read many times that he wasn't ranked at the time, which surprised me as he reached the 4th round of the US open a few weeks before his maiden title. but i guesss it's due to some "ranking rule" stipulating that you have to have played at least a certain number of tournament (how many?) to appear in the rankings. does anybody have more information about that ?

tennisabstract.com seems to confirm that he wasn't ranked:
http://www.tennisabstract.com/cgi-bin/player.cgi?p=AaronKrickstein&f=ACareerqq

special mention for yahiya doumbia: only won 24 ATP-level career matches, but won 2 tournaments... each time as a qualifier !
 

vive le beau jeu !

Talk Tennis Guru
list of lowest-ranked players to win an ATP-tour-level tournament
(colour indicates the surface; highest career ranking, age at the time & total number of titles are also shown)

  • #??? aaron krickstein USA (#6), 16, tel aviv 1983 (1st/9, see bottom note)
  • #550 lleyton hewitt AUS (#1), 16, adelaide 1998 (1st/30, almost defended his title the following year)
  • #453 yahiya doumbia SEN (#74), 24, lyon 1988 (1st/2, twice in the list !)
  • #397 kelly jones USA (#86), 25, singapore 1989 (1st/2, only one in the list to defend his title)
  • #390, danny saltz USA (#122), 22, auckland 1984 (1st/1)
  • #364, roberto arguello ARG (#49), 20, venice 1983 (1st/1)
  • #352 fernando gonzalez CHI (#5), 19, orlando 2000 (1st/11)
  • #349 tommy haas GER (#2), 26, houston 2004 (6th/15)
  • #316 santiago ventura ESP (#65), 24, casablanca 2004 (1st/1)
  • #297 steve darcis BEL (#44), 23, amersfoort 2007 (1st/2)
  • #282 yahiya doumbia SEN (#74), 32, bordeaux 1995 (2nd/2, twice in the list !)
  • #272, robert van't hof USA (#25), 30, auckland 1984 (2nd/2)
  • #258 nicolas lapentti ECU (#6), 19, bogota 1995 (1st/5, same week as doumbia !)
  • #244 kei nishikori JAP (#5), 18, delray beach 2008 (1st/7)
  • #243 pat cash AUS (#4), 24, hong kong (7th/7)
  • #240 nicolas mahut FRA (#37), 31, 's-hertogenbosch 2013 (1st/2)
  • #217? heinz gunthardt SWI (#22), 19, springfield 1978 (1st/5, first time a LL wins a tournament)
  • #214 mark philippoussis AUS (#8!), 29, newport 2006 (11th/11, and he played his 1st final at at scottstdale 1995, being ranked #272)
  • #212 mark edmondson AUS (#15), 21, AO 1976 (1st/6)
(active players in bold)

feel free to help me to correct me or/and complete the list, it's a team effort. :)
- here i only included players ranked #200 and further
- remember that ATP rankings started in 1973

as regards krickstein, i had read many times that he wasn't ranked at the time, which surprised me as he reached the 4th round of the US open a few weeks before his maiden title. does anybody have more information about that ?
for tennisabstract.com, he wasn't ranked:
http://www.tennisabstract.com/cgi-bin/player.cgi?p=AaronKrickstein&f=ACareerqq
(but it seems that when rankings are missing for a particular week, they display the last ranking available in their database, so it's not 100% reliable !)

special mention for yahiya doumbia: only won 24 ATP-level career matches, but won 2 tournaments... each time as a qualifier !
found some other interesting stuff, that i stil need to check/order.

tournament winners that could be added to the list (do we put the cut at #200 ?):

  • #272 clerc, florence 1978
  • #245 martinez, bordeaux 1980 (see bottom note)
  • #214 philippoussis, newport 2006 (his last title... and he also played his 1st final at scottstdale in 1995 being ranked #272)
  • #213 gunthardt, springfield 1978 (LL)
  • #212 edmondson, AO 1976 (already mentioned earlier... it was a slam !)
#189 giammalga jr, napa 1980
#181 ram, newport 2009 (LL)
#166 rusedsk, newport 2004
#157 rosset, geneva 1989
#155 karlovic, bogota 2013 (also played 2 other finals while being ranked outside the top100: l. to murray, san jose 2007, and d. zabaleta, houston 2007)
#151 rusedski newport 1993 (lots of newports !) ;)

finalists (following post #2 with sluiter, #866 at 's-hertogenbosch 2007)
#416 isner, washington 2007
#303 kulti, halle 1999

martinez is strange... ranked #245, but 3rd seed ! probably due to the coexistence of 2 ranking systems at the time ?...
(makes me wonder again about the krickstein case ! cf. post #1)
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=234215
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=130373
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=189367
OP updated...
- i didn't include martinez (cf. posts #14 and #18 )
- ranking data is missing for gunthardt and clerc: the gap is very short for gunthardt so his actual ranking that week was probably very close to #217, but for clerc the gap is several months long, so i didn't include him in the list (until we get more consistent data).
 
J

JRAJ1988

Guest
Off topic but can anyone remember Albert Portas from 2001?

The dropshot machine, I think he actually won the Hamburg masters that year then went back in obscurity.
 

vive le beau jeu !

Talk Tennis Guru
Off topic but can anyone remember Albert Portas from 2001?

The dropshot machine, I think he actually won the Hamburg masters that year then went back in obscurity.
i also remember him ousting (soon to be #1) kuerten in the 1st round at the 2000 AO... after losing the first 2 sets ! :)
(didn't he save match point in that match ?)
 

merlinpinpin

Hall of Fame
ATP says #489 for Krickstein when he pulled out the big one in Tel Aviv. ;)

Became the youngest player ever to win a Grand Prix event at 16 years, 2 months, 13 days, when he won at Tel Aviv in 1983. He broke into the top 10 on Aug. 13, 1984 and he was the youngest ever to rank in the top 20. In 1983, he improved his ATP ranking from 489 to 97 in two tournaments (Tel Aviv & US Open), becoming the youngest male player to reach the RD 16 at the Open (16 years, 1 month).

http://www.atpworldtour.com/tennis/players/kr/a/aaron-krickstein.aspx

Edit: nope, apparently, he was ranked higher than that, as he played the USO *before* Tel Aviv. Oh well...
 
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vive le beau jeu !

Talk Tennis Guru
ATP says #489 for Krickstein when he pulled out the big one in Tel Aviv.

Became the youngest player ever to win a Grand Prix event at 16 years, 2 months, 13 days, when he won at Tel Aviv in 1983. He broke into the top 10 on Aug. 13, 1984 and he was the youngest ever to rank in the top 20. In 1983, he improved his ATP ranking from 489 to 97 in two tournaments (Tel Aviv & US Open), becoming the youngest male player to reach the RD 16 at the Open (16 years, 1 month).

http://www.atpworldtour.com/tennis/players/kr/a/aaron-krickstein.aspx

Edit: nope, apparently, he was ranked higher than that, as he played the USO *before* Tel Aviv. Oh well...
your info was still useful, as it means hewitt should be at the top of the list !
(3rd youngest winner of a title after krickstein and chang... but lowest ranked winner of a title !)
but we're still missing krickstein's ranking when he won tel aviv...


time for some pictures !


hewitt, adelaide 1998


doumbia, lyon 1988


krickstein, tel aviv 1983


gonzalez, orlando 2000
(who knew those 2 guys would take all the gold 4 years later ?!...)
 
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BGod

G.O.A.T.
250 and 500 events aren't true measures though because the field could be fairly weak. Take the Swiss Indoors Championship, a 500 series event. It's quite prestigious to be fair but has a knack for only featuring one, maybe two Top 10 players. Some past Finals:

2004: Jiri Novak over Nalbandian
1999: Karol Kucera over Tim Henman
1994: Wayne Ferreira over Patrick McEnroe


Masters events are basically secondary Slams for the mandatory fields they often have with a few notable skips. So I give credence to a player who manages to grab one:

2001 Canada Masters: Andrei Pavel defeats Rafter 7-6, 2-6, 6-3. Achieving a career high of #13 in 2004, Pavel was a routine early round loser at Slams at going into Montreal that year hadn't made it to the quarters of a Masters let alone a Final. He did make the semifinal at Hamburg the year prior but that was his highlight up to that point. Apparently he was ranked 43rd before winning that Masters event. Chris Woodruff has roughly the same kind of career and won the 1997 title. Overall though they're two pretty big outliers for the event.
 

Moose Malloy

G.O.A.T.
Wilander was ranked 18 at 82 RG. The way the media covered that event and Becker at 85 Wimbledon you would think they were both ranked outside the top 100 when they won those majors at 17, when in reality they both just missed being seeded, so they were already darn good players. But in those days tennis was hardly on tv and there was no internet so the average fan had no idea about the future stars of the game or the weekly rankings. While today we get to see virtually every match someone like zverev played in the last year. And microanalyze every loss. It's funny to think any fan/commentator today could be watching the world #18 for the first time anywhere at a major, but that was likely the case for mats in 82 for most observers.
 

vive le beau jeu !

Talk Tennis Guru
list of lowest-ranked players to win an ATP-tour-level tournament
(colour indicates the surface/conditions; highest career ranking, age at the time & total number of titles are also shown; last thing is the way they made it into the draw)

  • #550 lleyton hewitt AUS (#1), 16, adelaide 1998 (1st/30, almost defended his title the following year) WC
  • #453 yahiya doumbia SEN (#74), 24, lyon 1988 (1st/2, twice in the list !) Q
  • #397 kelly jones USA (#86), 25, singapore 1989 (1st/2, only one in the list, with krickstein, to defend his title) Q
  • #390 danny saltz USA (#122), 22, auckland 1984 (1st/1) Q
  • #??? aaron krickstein USA (#6), 16, tel aviv 1983 (1st/9, see bottom note) WC?
  • #364 roberto arguello ARG (#49), 20, venice 1983 (1st/1) Q
  • #352 fernando gonzalez CHI (#5), 19, orlando 2000 (1st/11) Q
  • #349 tommy haas GER (#2), 26, houston 2004 (6th/15) PR
  • #316 santiago ventura ESP (#65), 24, casablanca 2004 (1st/1) Q
  • #297 steve darcis BEL (#44), 23, amersfoort 2007 (1st/2) Q
  • #282 yahiya doumbia SEN (#74), 32, bordeaux 1995 (2nd/2, twice in the list !) Q
  • #272 robert van't hof USA (#25), 30, auckland 1984 (2nd/2) Q
  • #258 nicolas lapentti ECU (#6), 19, bogota 1995 (1st/5, same week as doumbia !) Q
  • #244 kei nishikori JAP (#4), 18, delray beach 2008 (1st/7) Q
  • #243 pat cash AUS (#4), 24, hong kong 1990 (7th/7, played & lost the final in seoul the previous week, while ranked #590... against the same final opponent: antonitsch) WC
  • #240 nicolas mahut FRA (#37), 31, 's-hertogenbosch 2013 (1st/2) Q
  • #218 leonardo lavalle MEX (#51), 24, tel aviv 1991 (1st/1) Q
  • #217? heinz gunthardt SWI (#22), 19, springfield 1978 (1st/5, first time a LL won a tournament) LL
  • #217 sergio casal ESP (#31), 22, florence 1985 (1st/1) Q
  • #214 mark philippoussis AUS (#8!), 29, newport 2006 (11th/11, and he played his 1st final at at scottstdale 1995, being ranked #272) WC
  • #212 mark edmondson AUS (#15), 21, AO 1976 (1st/6) DA
  • #212 mardy fish USA (#7), 24, houston 2006 (2nd/6) WC
  • #210 carsten arriens GER (#109), 23, guaruja 1992 (1st/1) Q
  • #209 sergiy stakhovsky UKR (#31), 22, zagreb 2008 (1st/4) LL
  • #204 jose francisco altur ESP (#88!), 23, san marino 1989 (1st/1) Q
(active players in bold)

finalists whose ranking was worse than hewitt's:
#866 sluiter
#590 cash

feel free to help me to correct me or/and complete the list, it's a team effort. :)
- here i only included players ranked #200 and further
- remember that ATP rankings started in 1973

as regards krickstein, i had read many times that he wasn't ranked at the time, which surprised me as he reached the 4th round of the US open a few weeks before his maiden title. does anybody have more information about that ?
for tennisabstract.com, he wasn't ranked:
http://www.tennisabstract.com/cgi-bin/player.cgi?p=AaronKrickstein&f=ACareerqq
(but it seems that when rankings are missing for a particular week, they display the last ranking available in their database, so it's not 100% reliable !)

special mention for yahiya doumbia: only won 24 ATP-level career matches, but won 2 tournaments... each time as a qualifier !
(an achievement matched by nicolas mahut... with his 2 's-hertogenbosch titles won as a qualifier: 2013 and 2015)

doumbia, lapentti, ventura and altur won the first ATP-level tournament they played.
maybe somebody (ebden) to add to the list tomorrow ? ;) (at last !)
 

vive le beau jeu !

Talk Tennis Guru
Nice thread.
Too bad magician Sluiter lost his final to becker in 2009
His rankings was like 900
nice input, he was indeed #866 !
we could also try to build a similar list for finalists... ;)
kokkinakis (#454) at los cabos is very likely the lowest-ranked player to reach a final since sluiter at 's-hertogenbosch in 2009 (probably the record).
 

vive le beau jeu !

Talk Tennis Guru
Pablo Andujar plays the final in Marrakech tomorrow. #355
was about to update the thread but you beat me to the punch :)

he will rank "high on the lowest list" if he wins tomorrow ;)
vamos pablo !

and even if he loses, there won't be too many players having reached a final being ranked so low.
apart from the tournaments winners, we spotted:
#866 sluiter, rosmalen 2009
#590 cash, seoul 1990
#454 kokkinakis, los cabos 2017
#416 isner, washington 2007

#303 kulti, halle 1999
(any other with a ranking worse than #300 ?)
 
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vive le beau jeu !

Talk Tennis Guru
list of lowest-ranked players to win an ATP-tour-level tournament
(colour indicates the surface/conditions; highest career ranking, age at the time & total number of titles are also shown; last thing is the way they made it into the draw)

  • #550 lleyton hewitt AUS (#1), 16, adelaide 1998 (1st/30, almost defended his title the following year) WC
  • #453 yahiya doumbia SEN (#74), 24, lyon 1988 (1st/2, twice in the list !) Q
  • #397 kelly jones USA (#86), 25, singapore 1989 (1st/2, only one in the list, with krickstein, to defend his title) Q
  • #390 danny saltz USA (#122), 22, auckland 1984 (1st/1) Q
  • #??? aaron krickstein USA (#6), 16, tel aviv 1983 (1st/9, see bottom note) WC?
  • #364 roberto arguello ARG (#49), 20, venice 1983 (1st/1) Q
  • #355 pablo andujar ESP (#32), 32, marrakech 2018 (4/4) PR
  • #352 fernando gonzalez CHI (#5), 19, orlando 2000 (1st/11) Q
  • #349 tommy haas GER (#2), 26, houston 2004 (6th/15) PR
  • #316 santiago ventura ESP (#65), 24, casablanca 2004 (1st/1) Q
  • #297 steve darcis BEL (#44), 23, amersfoort 2007 (1st/2) Q
  • #282 yahiya doumbia SEN (#74), 32, bordeaux 1995 (2nd/2, twice in the list !) Q
  • #272 robert van't hof USA (#25), 30, auckland 1984 (2nd/2) Q
  • #258 nicolas lapentti ECU (#6), 19, bogota 1995 (1st/5, same week as doumbia !) Q
  • #244 kei nishikori JAP (#4), 18, delray beach 2008 (1st/12) Q
  • #243 pat cash AUS (#4), 24, hong kong 1990 (7th/7, played & lost the final in seoul the previous week, while ranked #590... against the same final opponent: antonitsch) WC
  • #240 nicolas mahut FRA (#37), 31, 's-hertogenbosch 2013 (1st/4) Q
  • #218 leonardo lavalle MEX (#51), 24, tel aviv 1991 (1st/1) Q
  • #217? heinz gunthardt SWI (#22), 19, springfield 1978 (1st/5, first time a LL won a tournament) LL
  • #217 sergio casal ESP (#31), 22, florence 1985 (1st/1) Q
  • #214 mark philippoussis AUS (#8!), 29, newport 2006 (11th/11, and he played his 1st final at at scottstdale 1995, being ranked #272) WC
  • #212 mark edmondson AUS (#15), 21, AO 1976 (1st/6) DA
  • #212 mardy fish USA (#7), 24, houston 2006 (2nd/6) WC
  • #210 carsten arriens GER (#109), 23, guaruja 1992 (1st/1) Q
  • #210 jo-wilfried tsonga FRA (#5), 33, montpellier 2019 (17th/17) PR
  • #209 sergiy stakhovsky UKR (#31), 22, zagreb 2008 (1st/4) LL
  • #204 jose francisco altur ESP (#88!), 23, san marino 1989 (1st/1) Q
(active players in bold)

finalists whose ranking was worse than hewitt's:
#866 sluiter
#590 cash

feel free to help me to correct me or/and complete the list, it's a team effort. :)
- here i only included players ranked #200 and further
- remember that ATP rankings started in 1973

as regards krickstein, i had read many times that he wasn't ranked at the time, which surprised me as he reached the 4th round of the US open a few weeks before his maiden title. does anybody have more information about that ?
for tennisabstract.com, he wasn't ranked:
http://www.tennisabstract.com/cgi-bin/player.cgi?p=AaronKrickstein&f=ACareerqq
(but it seems that when rankings are missing for a particular week, they display the last ranking available in their database, so it's not 100% reliable !)

special mention for yahiya doumbia: only won 24 ATP-level career matches, but won 2 tournaments... each time as a qualifier !
(an achievement matched by nicolas mahut... with his 2 's-hertogenbosch titles won as a qualifier: 2013 and 2015)

doumbia, lapentti, ventura and altur won the first ATP-level tournament they played.
updated ;)
bravo jo... the oldest one in the list ! (y)



"I am very happy with the way I played this week," said Tsonga. "It was an amazing moment for me to win here in Montpellier... I have made many efforts to come back [here], so for me it is a good reward and I hope I will be able to continue playing at this level."

https://www.atptour.com/en/news/tsonga-beats-herbert-to-win-2019-montpellier-title
 
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