There are six players in the current ATP rankings, last updated on August 6, 2012, without a Grand slam title – Andy Murray, David Ferrer, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Tomas Berdych, Janko Tipsarevic and Juan Moncao. With beating Roger Federer to win the Olympic gold medal, we take a closer look at four of these players, who probably deserve and have a bit more of a shot to win a major at some point in their career.
Why hasn’t Murray won one already? He’s been unfortunate to be playing in era with three superior players. Something mentally has yet to click for him, like it did for Novak Djokovic in 2011. Until this season, which has shown us a different kind of Andy Murray more often, Murray hardly attacked, even against weaker opponents.
Not being able or wanting to take initiative gets you by against most of the field, but not against the premier competition. Murray has been to four grand slam finals, losing all four, three of them to Roger Federer. He is of age with Novak Djokovic, only a week separating their birth dates.
He has what it takes to win one, but probably not as along as the top 3 are playing at this level. An Olympic gold might change something inside Murray that’ll push him towards that kind of necessary level. He’s 9-8 vs Federer in his career, 6-8 against Djokovic and 5-13 against Nadal.
Consistency, consistency. Tsonga has a fantastic serve and probably the most dominating forehand in the game. He even has an exceptional net game when he actually succumbs to use it. His backhand is good enough to create points, but good enough isn’t, well, good enough.
Tsonga always has these long stretches of down moments during his matches, especially against the premier players, and the record shows: He’s 3-8 against Federer in his career; 5-7 against Novak Djokovic, with the two usually producing quite entertaining matches and 3-7 against Nadal. He’s won a masters only once and has a total of 8 singles titles. Since 2011, he’s been to 7 finals, winning 3 of them. Can he win one? He needs to many things to happen in other matches. Being at his best isn’t enough for him.
2010 Was the breakout year, but Berdych hasn’t turned into what was expected. He reached the Roland Garros semifinal and the Wimbledon final all in a month, but from there his career came to a halt. He’s doing well outside the big tournaments, but he hasn’t been to a slam semifinal since.
He has won two tournaments over the last 18 months, losing in the Madrid masters finals this year to Federer. He’s tall, which means he’s got a huge serve combined with one of the finest forehands on tour, but there’s nothing special about his backhand, he finds it hard to handle balls that fall behind him and his risky shot making style takes a toll eventually. Oh, and did we mention he constantly crumbles in big matches? At 26, Berdych is another one waiting for Federer to retire and for Nadal and Djokovic to start dropping in form.
Ferrer is 4-16 against Nadal, 5-8 against Djokovic and 0-13 against Federer. He doesn’t have a consistency problem – he’s just not good enough when it comes to the top players. Ferrer is one of the hardest working men on tour, probably the fittest as well, winning many matches by grinding them out from the baseline.
He’s often referred to as the best, or one of the best returners on the ATP Tour. He’s won 7 tournaments since January 2011, none of them Masters, losing in four finals, two of them Masters tournaments. That Grand Slam probably won’t be coming his way. Ferrer is 30, and grinding out matches hasn’t won someone a grand slam since Lleyton Hewitt in 2002.