What was the most disappointing season for a player with high expectation?

BladeDaywalker

New User
So, from either the men or women's side, what is an example of a player who had high expectation coming into a year but ended up vastly underperforming what was expected of them?

This doesn't have to be limited to just one player. If you have multiple examples, you can post them.
 
Wilander 1989? From #1 to #12, mostly thanks to lack of motivation, then plummeted altogether.

McEnroe 1985 maybe, esp coming off that legendary 1984. He was still great for most of the season but inexplicably underperformed in BO5, suffering straight-set beatdowns in all of WCT Finals, RG, Wimbledon and the USO, lastly eating a zverevian fifth set bagel in AO. A bad showing at the Masters (Gilbert loss specifically) prompted him to take a sabbatical but he could never get back to that level.
 

Fabresque

Professional
As stated before Murray and Djokovic crashing in 2017 was pretty unbelievable.

Federer 2013 was also horrific, but he was harboring an injury.

Literally any Zverev season. He’s meant to breakout everytime he steps onto a grand slam court, then ends up losing for the millionth time before the second week. 2017, 2018, and 2019. Probably 2020 as well.

Dimitrov 2018 was atrocious after the level he set for himself the year prior.
 
Capriati in 92. Was expected to win majors(or at least be in finals) that year after the epic Seles loss at 91 USO, but sort of took a step back that year in terms of her game and personality(was no longer a bubbly media darling, but now a rather sullen kid. The signs of burnout were there. Yeah, she won it Olympics, but they weren’t considered that big a deal then - esp with no Seles in draw)

Agsssi in 89 - huge expectations after his breakthrough season in 88.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Capriati in 92. Was expected to win majors(or at least be in finals) that year after the epic Seles loss at 91 USO, but sort of took a step back that year in terms of her game and personality(was no longer a bubbly media darling, but now a rather sullen kid. The signs of burnout were there. Yeah, she won it Olympics, but they weren’t considered that big a deal then - esp with no Seles in draw)

Agsssi in 89 - huge expectations after his breakthrough season in 88.
What about Agassi 1997? His 1996 wasn't a great season but I'm sure few expecting him to drop outside the top 100.
 
What about Agassi 1997? His 1996 wasn't a great season but I'm sure few expecting him to drop outside the top 100.
Agassi in 96 was probably an even bigger disappointment since he didn't follow up his great 1995 at all, and still seemed to be in a depression hangover from the U.S Open final result. A really bad 1997 was not totally unexpected after 96, although I doubt many thought it would be this bad.
 
To be honest Monica Seles in 96. A lot figured after her blazing return the first 2 tournaments she would return to total dominance. Some even called a Grand Slam for in 96. She did win the Australian Open, but only with Graf not playing and Rubin choking in the semis, and the rest of her year was a massive letdown. And it only pretty much went downhill from there, she never returned to being a dominant player; and never stayed reasonably fit for more than 6 weeks on end.
 

Third Serve

Hall of Fame
I don't know if half a season counts, but Djokovic in 2016 suffered quite a massive collapse, starting at Wimbledon. Right before the tournament started, he was the defending champion of four Slams, five Masters, and the WTF. After the tournament?

Wimbledon: Lost 3R to Querrey
Canada: Okay, he won this against Nishikori, but his form was shaky across the event
Summer Olympics: Lost 1R to Del Potro
USO: Lost F to Wawrinka
Shanghai: Lost SF to RBA
Paris: Lost QF to Cilic
WTF: Lost F to Murray

If we're restricting it to full seasons instead of half seasons, I would probably go with 2017 Murray.
 

buscemi

Hall of Fame
Ferrero in 2004. He finished 2003 a close #3 behind Roddick and Federer after his French title and U.S. Open final as well as Masters Series titles in Monte Carlo and Madrid. Then, after an Australian Open SF, he got chicken pox and injuries and finished the year #31 and was never the same again.
 

Thriller

Semi-Pro
Rod Laver. Wins the calendar slam in 69. The following year 4R the best he could do at any of them.

Contested 8 more slams after 69. The best result was a QF.

Nothing tops that slide.
 
D

Deleted member 763691

Guest
2011 Rafa, because he'd won 3 consecutive slams in 2010 and it appeared only injury could take him down :)
 

BeatlesFan

Talk Tennis Guru
To be honest Monica Seles in 96. And it only pretty much went downhill from there, she never returned to being a dominant player; and never stayed reasonably fit for more than 6 weeks on end.
Do you think her being stabbed on court in 1993 had the slightest thing to do with her problems later on? I'm sure some people here have no clue this happened. Anyone who had a knife plunged into their back probably could never return to being a dominant player. Not just the physical issues, but the mental aspects of having some deranged loon trying to kill her during a tennis match.



https://www.ubitennis.net/2017/04/24-years-ago-today-stabbing-monica-seles/
 
Do you think her being stabbed on court in 1993 had the slightest thing to do with her problems later on? I'm sure some people here have no clue this happened. Anyone who had a knife plunged into their back probably could never return to being a dominant player. Not just the physical issues, but the mental aspects of having some deranged loon trying to kill her during a tennis match.



https://www.ubitennis.net/2017/04/24-years-ago-today-stabbing-monica-seles/
Yes of course but her initial return was amazingly strong, way stronger than anyone imagined. So after that her 1996 was a huge letdown to most people. Everyone expected a way better 1996 than she had after her shockingly great return at the 95 Canadian Open and 95 U.S Open. People who follow the womens game closely know exactly what I am talking about.
 

Sport

G.O.A.T.
Yes of course but her initial return was amazingly strong, way stronger than anyone imagined. So after that her 1996 was a huge letdown to most people. Everyone expected a way better 1996 than she had after her shockingly great return at the 95 Canadian Open and 95 U.S Open. People who follow the womens game closely know exactly what I am talking about.
She never was the same after the knife incident, especially psychollogically. It hugely affected his confidence and completely stopped her dynamic.
 

buscemi

Hall of Fame
She never was the same after the knife incident, especially psychollogically. It hugely affected his confidence and completely stopped her dynamic.
Plus, she injured her shoulder early in 1996 (largely due to the adjustment after missing time due to the stabbing), and it was never 100% again.
 
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