Tennis Power Rankings: The Sport's 10 Biggest Underachievers Since 2000

Sean ClairCorrespondent IJuly 10, 2011

Tennis Power Rankings: The Sport's 10 Biggest Underachievers Since 2000

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    It happens quite often in tennis, the young stud in juniors who is labeled as the next big thing to hit the ATP tour.

    Sometimes, they pan out but not often. Most likely, the youngster gets to the tour with too big a head or is overwhelmed. They may go on to have decent careers but are nothing special.

    There have been quite a few guys over the past decade who fit this bill. 

    It's really hard to label the underachievers over the past decade because of the dominance of Nadal and Federer, but all these guys could have had better or can have better careers.

10. Ernests Gulbis

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    Ernests Gulbis is a player who has so much talent but doesn't care about being a top level player.

    Gulbis, at times, has shown that he has the game to play with the big boys on tour. A big serve and forehand he possesses, but he doesn't use them well enough.

    Gulbis' father is one of the richest men in Latvia. This has always brought about the statement that Gulbis doesn't have the desire due to this fact.

    Whatever the cause, Gulbis has and never will live up to the potential he truly possesses.

9. Tomas Berdych

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    Except for one season on tour, Tomas Berdych has been a disappointment.

    Berdych was a very highly-touted junior who was expected to be a rock solid top 10 player on tour. 

    He is in the top 10 but just got there last year after finally having a great season on tour. It was suppose to have come much earlier however.

    After beating Roger Federer in the 2004 Olympics, Berdych was suppose to then show himself on the ATP tour with his big serve and ground strokes.

    However, inconsistency has plagued him for years. We will see if he'll be able to stay in the top 10 or if he goes back to that inconsistency that has always hurt him.

8. Marcos Baghdatis

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    Marcos Baghdatis is another one of the many who has showed his brilliance at times but has never been able to put it all together.

    Baghdatis joined the tour in 2003 after becoming the ITF World Junior tennis champion.

    He put his skills on full display in the 2006 Australian Open when he reached the finals and played a solid match against Federer in the final.

    He has made one other major final, but other than that, has been very inconsistent and plagued by injuries.

    Baghdatis has always been questioned about his fitness and may never live up to potential due to that and the nagging injuries that always bother him. 

7. Mark Philippoussis

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    Although it may have been a bit past his prime, the 2000s still could have been a time for Philippoussis to thrive.

    He made the 1998 final of the U.S. Open, losing to fellow Aussie Patrick Rafter. With possibly the biggest serve in the game at the time, many thought he would reach many more major finals.

    However, Mark had problems with his knees, and it wasn't until 2003 that he reached another major final where he lost to Federer at Wimbledon.

    It was then that Philippoussis began to falter. He really suffered in 2004 and became more famous for what he did off the court (especially for his looks) rather than on it.

    The desire was gone, and the man with the serve, was never able to grab the major that he could have had.

6. Tommy Haas

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    Tommy Haas was groomed to be a tennis player, thanks to his tennis-coaching father.

    At the age of 13, Haas left Germany for the Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida to train, for FREE!

    He joined the tour in 1996 and was able to have a very solid career but an underachieving one. Haas was never able to reach a major final getting knocked out in the semis four times. 

    Injuries not only to himself, but also to his parents, always got in the way. It always seemed that when Tommy was getting back into form and back to the top of the game, injuries would force him out.

    Unfortunately for Tommy, and for us, we were never able to see him rise to the top of the game.

5. Andy Roddick

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    Andy Roddick has been the best American male player over the last decade.

    Over 500 wins and 30 titles is a great career, but you feel like Andy could have had an even better one.

    He won the 2003 U.S. Open, and it was just a matter of time before he won a second major. Unfortunately, a guy named Roger Federer showed up.

    Roddick has played in four other major finals and lost every single one to Federer.

    Although Federer was at his prime, Roddick still had the game to add another major to his case.

4. Richard Gasquet

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    Pure talent, no other two words describe the game that Richard Gasquet has.

    Gasquet turned pro in 2002 after being touted as the next big thing in the French tennis world. He appeared on the cover of a French magazine at the age of nine!

    He has enjoyed a solid career on tour being ranked in the top 10 a couple times. However, the top 10 wasn't suppose to be Gasquet's goal.

    With his one-handed backhand and solid all-around game, Gasquet was suppose to win majors, but with only one major semifinal appearance, the disappointment is easily seen.

3. Donald Young

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    The next great American prodigy. That was the title Donald Young was given.

    Young was the No. 1 junior in the world and was said to be the next great thing in American tennis.

    However, Young has been awful since turning pro in 2004, mustering a terrible 16-47 overall record on the ATP tour.

    His best showing in a major was the third round at the U.S. Open in 2007.

    Many have said that he was pushed too much at such a young age, and that now, the desire and game don't match up to the top level.

2. Andy Murray

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    Andy Murray was to be the savior of British tennis, but it hasn't worked out yet.

    Tim Henman had a great career and was the driving force of British tennis. Murray was supposed to be even better and bring the country back to tennis prestige.

    Murray has played well over the last five years but has yet to win a major when everyone thought he would have by now.

    He has made three major finals but has been beaten handily in every single one. 

    He still has a great chance to win a major, but it's taking him longer than it should have.

1. Marat Safin

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    Marat Safin had as much talent as any player in tennis over the last 20 years.

    A huge serve and ground strokes that could hurt you off either side. 

    Marat surprised everyone by winning the 2000 U.S. Open and was destined for greatness, but it never materialized.

    Safin went on to win the 2005 Australian Open and play in two other Australian Open finals, but he could have won many more majors.

    A lot of questions came through asking did he have the desire to be great, and based on his career, it was probably true that he didn't.