Tennis

The best ATP players to have never won a slam

When people talk about Grand Slam winners, there are a few big names that always get spoken. Of course, this includes Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal. These guys have dominated the Grand Slam circuit like no one before, although Murray did fall by the wayside due to injury. With this said, there have been some seriously talented players over the last decade or so who failed to win slams. 

In my opinion, the players I’m about to discuss were more than capable of winning slams in their day. But for some reason, they just failed to. So, without further ado, let me jump into the players right now.

How did these guys fail to lift the big trophies?

Before I risk creating an image that these guys are choke artists, I must stress that they reached their peaks at an incredibly difficult period in tennis. Let’s not forget that in order to win slams they would have to dispatch one or more of the best players of all time. No easy feat to say the least! However, I still think they could have done better in their careers.

Kei Nishikori

Nishikori

Nishikori has been one of the most consistent players outside of the big three. With solid groundstrokes on both sides and an excellent tennis brain, he has always been a threat. He is also incredibly agile, meaning that he has a great defensive game. In my opinion, that area is underrated in the discussion of Nishikori’s talents. But since he’s on this list, of course, he failed to win a slam. 

His best chance was against Marin Cilic in the 2014 US Open – a tournament in which he beat Novak Djokovic to make it to the finals. He would make the semi-finals at the same event two more times but never got a shot at the trophy again.

Grigor Dimitrov

When Dimitrov first started to cause a stir on the ATP Tour, he was known as ‘baby Fed’. This nickname emerged due to his style of play and his technique. Most of his strokes resembled that of the great Federer, however, he actually had better agility than Federer. He still has a huge serve too, although his agility isn’t quite what it used to be. Despite all of this hype, Dimitrov has made just three Grand Slam semi-finals in his career.

These came at Wimbledon 2014, Australian Open 2017, and at the 2019 US Open. 

Gael Monfils

Speaking of great ball strikers with immense agility, it doesn’t get much better than Gael Monfils. Amazingly, Monfils has made just two Grand Slam semi-finals in his career. These were majorly spread out too, with a semi-final appearance at the 2008 French Open and another at the 2016 US Open. Ever the showman, I feel that his love for delighting fans has somewhat impacted how clinical he can be on the court. With that said, he’s still going, so who knows whether there could be a late surge for Monfils?

About the author

Gavin Davison

Gavin is a full-time copywriter based in the United Kingdom. He has previously played NCAA college tennis in the USA and competed in many international events throughout his younger days. He still plays competitively and follows both the ATP & WTA Tours closely. His favourite player is Roger Federer.

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