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French Open 2024

Top five players who have failed to win French Open title

Published at :May 25, 2024 at 2:10 PM
Modified at :May 25, 2024 at 2:10 PM
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(Courtesy : Roland Garros)

Shashank Tripathi

After Rafael Nadal, Bjorn Borg is the second-most successful player in French Open history.

The third-oldest Grand Slam, the French Open, was founded in 1891. The Stade Roland Garros has witnessed numerous elite athletes rising and falling on the clay. In Paris, several dreams have shattered while numerous stars have been created.

Nevertheless, Rafael Nadal has been the most accomplished individual at the Stade Roland Garros. The Spaniard has won 14 men’s singles titles and has lost only three out of the 115 matches he has played in the competition. Apart from Nadal, the likes of Bjorn Borg, Novak Djokovic, Ivan Lendl, and more have won the title more than once.

Swiss Icon Roger Federer’s 2009 French Open campaign played a major role in his career. During that edition, four-time defending champion Rafael Nadal was eliminated in the fourth round by Robin Soderling. Interestingly, Soderling lost in the final against Federer; otherwise, the Swiss maestro’s name would have been on this particular list.

However, there is a huge list of top-class tennis players who failed to lift the prestigious Roland Garros title. Despite all their other top achievements in their professional careers, some players failed to complete a career Grand Slam.

Recently, two-time Roland Garros runner-up Dominic Thiem hung up his boots without winning the claycourt Major. Thus, without further ado, let’s take a look at the list of top five players who have failed to win the French Open title:

Great players who have failed to win French Open title

5. Andy Murray

Andy Murray was a part of the ‘Big Four’ for tennis enthusiasts. His arch-rival, Stan Wawrinka, also recently lauded the Englishman for his game and on-court brilliance. He’s also one of the only two tennis players who won multiple Grand Slam titles during Big Three era.

Andy Murray has spent 41 weeks as ATP World No. 1 and has won 46 titles in his professional career. However, he’s currently playing the last few matches of his career. In 2016, he reached the final of the French Open but eventually lost against Novak Djokovic in the final. Interestingly, it was Djokovic’s first Roland Garros title and Nadal had to retire in the third round due to a wrist injury.

4. Stefan Edberg

Stefan Edberg was one of the most successful tennis stars during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The Swede won six Grand Slam titles, and his on-court aggression was reflected in every serve. With sheer strength and composure, he billed his opponents on hardcourt.

He was also a part of the four-time Davis Cup-winning Swedish team. With 801 singles wins in his professional career, Stefan Edberg spent 72 weeks in the top spot in the ATP rankings. Nevertheless, despite all the accolades and prizes, his trophy cabinet didn’t have a French Open title.

3. Jimmy Connors

Jimmy Connors was famous for his antics as well as his on-court skills among tennis enthusiasts. Connors won eight Grand Slam titles, out of which five were in Flushing Meadows. However, at the French Open, he only reached the semifinals four times.

Connors won 109 ATP titles during his professional career, the most by any player in the Open Era. In addition to that, he maintained a winning rate of 81.8% in his career. Unfortunately, he failed to win the Roland Garros in his 24-year-long professional career. He also coached Maria Sharapova and Andy Roddick after he was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1998.

2. Pete Sampras

Pete Sampras spent 286 weeks as ATP World No. 1, the third highest in the tournament’s history, only behind Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, respectively. He won 14 Grand Slam titles, of which seven came at the Wimbledon Championships.

In addition to that, he won 64 ATP titles, ninth most in the open era. However, the American bully only managed to reach the semifinals of Roland Garros once. In 1996, Sampras reached the semifinals as a top seed, where he lost against Yevgeny Kafelnikov.

1. Arthur Ashe

Arthur Ashe, the first black player to get selected for the United States Davis Cup team, was one of the more influential players in tennis history. The former American tennis star won the US Open (1968), the Australian Open (1970) and Wimbledon (1975). However, despite winning 44 open-era titles, he failed to win the French Open.

Apart from his on-court charisma, Ashe also worked for the sport and the rights of oppressed people. Moreover, the US Open is also played at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, named after him. He was also inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1984.

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