Note: this was written by contributor Chris.
Since the U.S. Open is coming up, I thought I would take a look at some GS stats and who has been the best “also-ran” at these tourneys — i.e., the player who has lost the most number of times to the eventual champion whether it has been in the finals or the first round.
Here’s a breakdown of everyone who’s lost twice or more to the eventual Slam Champion since the 2003 Australian Open:
9 – Hewitt
5 – Roddick, Henman
4 – Federer (losses were ’05-’07 FO vs. Nadal, and ’04 AO vs. Safin), JC Ferrero, Djokovic, Nalbandian
3 – Gasquet, Kiefer
2 – Nadal, Agassi, Del Potro, Haas, Bjorkman, Davydenko, Baghdatis, Minar, Santoro, O. Rochus, Mathieu, Ljubicic, Malisse, Grosjean, Coria
I’m sure it’s no surprise that Hewitt is at the top of this list. He has even trumped up this stat himself in press conferences. Seven of these losses came in a row from the 2004 Australian Open to the 2005 US Open (he didn’t play Roland Garros in 2005). If Hewitt had different draws (or that Federer guy didn’t exist), could he be in Top 5 GOAT contention?
Henman has lost five times to the eventual champion, most of these at Wimbledon, of course, but he should feel good about this stat.
Why isn’t Agassi higher?
And Djokovic is already at four losses and he’s played only 13 slams. On the other hand, Del Potro is two for five.
I’m surprised Moya and Hrbaty didn’t make the list; they seem to be contenders at most events they enter.