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Gilles Muller (Luxembourg)
Gilles Muller is the most successful player in the history of Luxembourg.
Alas, this success has never translated into a title on the ATP tour.
Entering his matchup against Roddick on Sunday, Muller had appeared in only two Finals in his career, losing both.
For a while, it seemed that it was finally Muller's day. Muller played his very best tennis for nearly two sets and brought a calm, aggressive game plan that caught Roddick off-guard.
Muller hit all of his spots on his serve and held easily for the first several games. His volleys were crisp, and he had an answer for everything Roddick gave him.
After crushing Roddick 6-1 in the first set, Muller had some real chances to break Roddick at 4-4 and 5-5 and serve for the match, but he just couldn't convert. At 6-6, Muller looked like a totally different player from the first set, and he played very tight when it mattered most.
Muller said after the match that when he got close to the finish line, "he started to think he could win and got nervous." The ability to close is what separates champions from also-rans.
This may have been Muller's greatest chance to win a title. He was very lucky to get through the second round after being down a set and a break to American Mardy Fish, who eventually had to retire with an ankle injury.
Then, on Sunday, Muller was fortunate to be playing an injured and exhausted Roddick who had just finished a marathon two-hour 28-minute three-setter against John Isner.
The circumstances could not have been more charmed for Muller, and still he failed to reach the end zone.
It may be a while for Luxembourg.