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Caroline Wozniacki and the 25 Best Tennis Players Never To Win a Grand Slam

Delores Smith-JohnsonCorrespondent IIIOctober 5, 2011

Caroline Wozniacki and the 25 Best Tennis Players Never To Win a Grand Slam

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    As with anything in life, there are always expectations. However, not all expectations yield the anticipated result.

    If tennis players were polled, it's probable that most, if not all, would say their greatest achievement would be winning a Grand Slam singles title. The four Grand Slam tournaments (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open) are the crowning jewels of tennis.

    However, though every player has a goal of achieving that grand title, many may never achieve it.

    The slideshow will take a look at the top 25 current and former players who have had the perpetual problem of a Grand Slam singles title slipping from their grasp.

    It is important to note that though some of the players on this list may have titles in doubles or mixed doubles, this list is focused on singles titles.

    Let's begin...

     

    Note: The list is not in a particular order as it is a combination of men and women over the years.

Ivan Ljubicic

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    Turned Pro: 1998

    Career-High Ranking: No. 3

    Best showing at a Grand Slam: 2006 French Open semifinal 

    There was much controversy surrounding this accomplishment. First, some said that the only reason he got to the final was due to having lowly-ranked opponents. Secondly, whether true or out of frustration, Ljubicic complained following his loss to Rafael Nadal about how Nadal played. Whatever the case, Ljubicic quest for a Grand Slam singles title came to an abrupt end.

Kimiko Date Krum

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    Turned Pro: 1989

    Career-High Ranking: No. 4

    Best showing at a Grand Slam: Semifinals (Australian 1994) (French 1995) (US Open 1996)

    For many tennis fans, Date-Krumm may not be as popular as others. However, most will probably remember her most recent moment in the spotlight when she and Venus Williams faced off in what seemed like a dual to the finish at this year's Wimbledon. Though, Venus went on to win, Date-Krumm provided quite a challenge.

James Blake

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    Turned Pro: 1999

    Career-High Ranking: No. 4

    Best showing at a Grand Slam: Quarterfinals (Australian Open 2008) and (US Open 2005 and 2006)

    Here's a little insight into the caliber of player that James Blake is. During his 2005 US Open run, Blake received entry via a wild card. Blake defeated then No.2, Rafael Nadal, before defeating Tommy Robredo to reach the quarterfinals.

Nadia Petrova

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    Turned Pro: 1999

    Career-High Ranking: No. 3

    Best showing at a Grand Slam: Semifinals (French Open 2003 and 2005)

    In recent history, Petrova is probably most noted for her 2010 Australian match against Kim Clijsters. Clijsters came into Melbourne having won the last Slam of 2009, the US Open. However, the momentum was not to be continued as Petrova played as if Clijsters was not even present. That match would make anyone go "Umm...wonder why Petrova does not have a Grand Slam victory in the win column."

David Ferrer

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    Turned Pro: 2000

    Career-High Ranking: No. 4

    Best showing at a Grand Slam: semifinals (Australian Open 2011) (US Open 2007)

    David Ferrer is one of the those players that you have to be amazed by. As I mentioned in another article, he does not have any big skills, but he has a determination and tenacity that caused him to reach these semifinals as well as win numerous tournaments.

Jelena Dokic

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    Turned Pro: 1998

    Career-High Ranking: No. 4

    Best showing at a Grand Slam: Semifinals (Wimbledon 2000)

    Though currently ranked at No. 68, this former top 10 player has defeated many fellow current and former top 10 players like Jennifer Capriati, Caroline Wozniacki and Venus Williams.

Tomas Berdych

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    Turned Pro: 2002

    Career-High Ranking: No. 6

    Best showing at a Grand Slam: Final (Wimbledon 2010)

    Tomas Berdych is one of those players who just by looking at him may be deceptive about his skill set. But there was no deception during his 2010 run at Wimbledon. He made it quite obvious that he knows how to play tennis. Over the course of this tournament, he played the top three men, defeating Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. He lost in the final to Rafael Nadal. 

Victoria Azarenka

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    Turned Pro: 2003

    Career-High Ranking: No. 3

    Best showing at a Grand Slam: semifinals (Wimbledon 2011)

    Victoria Azarenka is a gifted athlete who has had much success on the court. In fact, she already has wins in Grand Slam doubles and mixed doubles. That's why it's so unusual that she still does not have that Grand Slam singles title.

Nikolay Davydenko

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    Turned Pro: 1999

    Career-High Ranking: No. 3

    Best showing at a Grand Slam: Semifinals (French Open 2005 and 2007) (US Open 2006 and 2007)

     

    If by any chance anyone is wondering why Nikolay Davydenko would be expected to win a Grand Slam.

    Here's a great point: He actually has a winning record against Rafael Nadal. Yes, Rafael Nadal, the No. 2 male tennis player in the world.

Elena Dementieva

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    Turned Pro: 1998 (retired in 2010)

    Career-High Ranking: No. 3

    Best showing at a Grand Slam: Final ( French Open and US Open 2004)

    During Elena Dementieva's quest for a Grand Slam singles title at the French Open and US Open, she defeated two former World No. 1 players, Lindsay Davenport and Jennifer Capriatri.

Mardy Fish

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    Turned Pro: 2000

    Career-High Ranking: No. 7

    Best showing at a Grand Slam: Quarterfinals (Australian Open 2007) (Wimbledon 2011) (US Open 2008)

    And so, we come to the breakout player for 2011. What a year, Mardy Fish had. It's unfortunate that he could not keep the momemtum at the level to win a Grand Slam this year. However, he is still on track to knock that off his to-do list.

Pam Shriver

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    Turned Pro: 1979 (retired in 1997)

    Career-High Ranking: No. 3

    Best showing at a Grand Slam: Final (US Open 1978)

    Pam Shriver is most thought of as doubles player, especially since her famous doubles partner was none other than the great Martina Navratilova. However, it is a fact that she also was a great singles player as validated by the above statistics.

Richard Gasquet

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    Turned Pro: 2002

    Career-High Ranking: No. 7

    Best showing at a Grand Slam: semifinal (Wimbledon 2007)

     

    This was Gasquet's first appearance in a Grand Slam semifinal. He had a hard-fought quarterfinal round against Andy Roddick where he had to battle back from the brink of defeat to get to that semifinal. So, though he lost, the match still probably held a significant place for his physical and mental game.

Zina Garrison

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    Turned Pro: 1982 (retired in 1996)

    Career-High Ranking: No. 4

    Best showing at a Grand Slam: Final (Wimbledon 1990)

    Wimbledon 1990 was a significant triumph for Garrison. She not only defeated Monica Seles in the quarterfinals, she defeated Steffi Graf in the semifinals to face Martina Navratilova in the final.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

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    Turned Pro: 2004

    Career-High Ranking: No. 6

    Best showing at a Grand Slam: Final (Australian Open 2008)

    During the time that Jo-Wilfried Tsonga made it to the Australian Open final in 2008 until the present, he has seen his career work much like a see-saw—up and down.

    However, based upon his performances in 2011, he appears to be at a much more mature level in his game that appears that he may not only get back to a Grand Slam final, but get the win.

Dinara Safina

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    Turned Pro: 2000

    Career-High Ranking: No. 1

    Best showing at a Grand Slam: Final (French Open 2008) (Australian Open and French Open 2009)

    Dinara Safina is truly one of those cases that takes one by surprise that she did not capture a Grand Slam singles title.

Tommy Haas

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    Turned Pro: 1996

    Career-High Ranking: No. 2

    Best showing at a Grand Slam: Semifinals (Australian Open 1999, 2002 and 2007) (Wimbledon 2009)

    Though Tommy Haas has been plagued with much adversity (parents car accident early in his career and injuries throughout his career), it seems that he still keeps on going and who knows, might there still be possibility for a Grand Slam singles title before he retires?

Jelena Jankovic

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    Turned Pro: 2000

    Career-High Ranking: No. 1

    Best showing at a Grand Slam: Final (US Open 2008)

    Jelena Jankovic seems to be making a resurgence on the court; she's had a decent 2011. She's just right out of the World Top 10, currently ranked No. 12. She's a player to watch who has great potential to return to a the Grand Slam final stage and capture the singles title.

David Nalbandian

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    Turned Pro: 2000

    Career-High Ranking: No. 3

    Best showing at a Grand Slam: Final (Wimbledon 2002)

    David Nalbandian is another player that has been plagued by injuries, which may be a factor in why he cannot acquire that elusive Grand Slam singles title.

Vera Zvonareva

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    Turned Pro: 2000

    Career-High Ranking: No. 2

    Best showing at a Grand Slam: Final (Wimbledon and US Open 2010)

    If you've ever listened to an interview by Vera Zvonareva, you can easily pick up on her determination to succeed at anything she sets her mind to. She has achieved one degree and working on her second, all while holding down a top 10 ranking and modeling.  There seems to be no reason to doubt adding a Grand Slam singles title to her successful checklist. 

Fernando Verdasco

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    Turned Pro: 2001

    Career-High Ranking: No. 7

    Best showing at a Grand Slam: Semifinals (Australian Open 2009)

    No doubt, Fernando Verdasco has the tenacity and skill to achieve a Grand Slam victory. He just has to keep focus and not let his nerves get the best of him when he's on the big stage facing the top players.

    He's shown he can do that as he and Rafael Nadal entered the record book in their Australian Open semifinal as the longest match in tournament history.

Marcelo Rios

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    Turned Pro: 1994

    Career-High Ranking: No. 1 (retired in 2004)

    Best showing at a Grand Slam: Final (Australian Open 1998)

    Another baffling case, Marcelo Rios has won numerous titles, held top ranking at the junior and senior level, but yet, he never achieved a Grand Slam singles title.

Flavia Pennetta

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    Turned Pro: 2000

    Career-High Ranking: No. 10

    Best showing at a Grand Slam: Quarterfinals (US Open 2008, 2009 and 2011)

    She achieved her first Grand Slam doubles title this year at the Australian Open. Could her first Grand Slam singles title be on the horizon?

Fernando Gonzalez

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    Turned Pro: 1999

    Career-High Ranking: No. 5

    Best showing at a Grand Slam: Final (Australian Open 2007)

    Fernando Gonzalez is a textbook case of being a great tennis player does not necessarily yield a guaranteed Grand Slam singles title.

Andy Murray

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    Turned Pro: 2005

    Career-High Ranking: No. 2

    Best showing at a Grand Slam: Final (US Open 2008) (Australian Open 2010 and 2011)

    And so, another four Grand Slams came and went and Andy Murray is yet to win a Grand Slam singles title. Will 2012 be the year?

Caroline Wozniacki

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    Turned Pro: 2005

    Career-High Ranking: No. 1

    Best showing at a Grand Slam: Final (US Open 2009)

     

    In an interview with ESPN, Caroline Wozniacki sums up her thoughts on winning a Grand Slam:

    "Who knows if I'll win a Grand Slam, she says." "I know I'll go out there and fight all I can and do my best. We just have to wait and see if that's good enough."

Wrap-Up

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    So as dusk has set on another year of Grand Slam tournaments, preparations are made to prepare for the upcoming year of tournaments.

    Will we see a player or players finally reach a career pinnacle and win a Grand Slam singles title?

     

    Do leave comments on the players listed or share your thoughts on a player who you feel should have been listed.

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