GRAND SLAM TENNIS STATISTICS
OTHER STATISTICS PAGES
No. 1 DO THE TOP MALE PLAYERS HAVE EASIER MATCHES IN THE FIRST WEEK OF GRAND SLAMS THAN THEY DID IN THE PAST?
No. 2 HOW WELL DO HOME PLAYERS PERFORM IN THEIR GRAND SLAM EVENTS?
No. 3 WHAT WAS THE CHALLENGE ROUND?
No. 5 WHAT ARE THE MEN'S SINGLES GRAND SLAM RECORDS?
No. 6 WHAT IS A TRIPLE BAGEL?
No. 7 WHAT ARE QUALIFIERS, LUCKY LOSERS AND WILD CARDS?
No. 8 WHO LOST IN GRAND SLAM SEMI FINALS?
No. 9 WHICH GREAT HAD THE BEST RECORD AGAINST OTHER GREATS?
No. 10 WHAT IS SEEDING?
No. 11 WHO WERE THE MOST AND LEAST DOMINANT CHAMPIONS?
No. 12 WHO WERE THE MOST SUCCESSFUL TENNIS FAMILIES?
No. 13 WHAT IS A DEFAULT?
No. 14 WHAT NATIONALITY ARE GRAND AND PRO SLAM CHAMPIONS?
No. 15 WHAT IS A RETIREMENT?
No. 16 WHO WERE THE MOST SUCCESSFUL CHAMPIONS ON EACH SURFACE?
In the fourth article of the series, the results on this website, displayed as statistics, answer the question:
WHO LOST IN GRAND SLAM FINALS?
This statistics page arrives along with a new page containing Grand Slam/Pro Slam records of all male Grand Slam/Pro Slam finalists (see profiles page). Some finalists' careers were longer than others. Gardnar Mulloy entered 45 Grand Slam events over 30 years, which was the longest span amongst losing finalists (C. Percy Dixon entered 18 Grand Slam events over 30 years). In contrast, the losing finalist at the first Australasian championships in 1905, Arthur Curtis, never entered another Grand Slam event. Some finalists like Eric Sturgess (who reached three finals and seven semi finals) consistently reached the latter stages of Grand Slams, while others like Chris Lewis played for a decade but apart from one final never reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam. Randolph Lycett played in the first Australasian championships in 1905 as an Australian and didn't enter another Grand Slam event until after the First World War, when he was British. Nat Niles, on the other hand, first entered the U. S. in 1904 and played every year (including the war championships) until 1926.
Considering that the first Grand Slam tournament took place nearly a century and a half ago, there have been remarkably few male players who have come close to winning Grand Slam singles events again and again without winning one. There were five men (Frank Riseley, Frank Hunter, Harry Hopman, Bunny Austin and Eric Sturgess) who were runner up in three Grand Slams and never won one. Harry Parker, Wallace Johnson, Andre Gobert, Jean Washer, Robert Schlesinger, Frank Shields, Bill Talbert, Tom Brown, Kurt Nielsen, Herb Flam, Rex Hartwig, Luis Ayala, Steve Denton, Kevin Curren, Miloslav Mecir, Cedric Pioline, Todd Martin, Alex Corretja, Mark Philippoussis and Robin Soderling (total of 20) were runner up in two majors and never won one.
Fred Stolle lost in a record five Grand Slam finals before finally winning one. Herbert Lawford, Jaroslav Drobny, Ivan Lendl and Andy Murray lost in four Grand Slam finals before they won one. Ken McGregor, Neale Fraser, Andre Agassi and Goran Ivanisevic had all lost in three Grand Slam finals before they won one. Ivan Lendl was the man that lost in most Grand Slam finals (11).
In individual Grand Slam tournaments, the most times a man has been runner up without winning are: the Australian five times (Andy Murray), the World Hard Court twice (Andre Gobert and Jean Washer), the French twice (Bill Tilden, Eric Sturgess, Luis Ayala, Alex Corretja and Robin Soderling. Tilden did win the World Hard (Clay) Court title though), Wimbledon four times (Ken Rosewall) and the US four times (Bjorn Borg).
There were two players who had championship points in Grand Slam finals but were destined never to win one. The first of these was Brian Norton, who had already won seven matches when he faced Bill Tilden in the 1921 Wimbledon Challenge Round. Norton was twice one point from victory in the fifth set, but the mighty Tilden fought back to win. The second occasion occured eighty three years later, in 2004. In the French Open final Guillermo Coria twice stood at match point in the fifth set against Gaston Gaudio, but nerves got the better of him and he ended up losing. There was a third occasion when a man was effectively 1 point away from winning a Grand Slam and never won one. This came at Wimbledon in 1895. In the All Comer's final, Wilberforce Eaves was two sets to love up against Wilfred Baddeley and had a match point before Baddeley fought back to win the next three sets. Baddeley then won the Challenge Round by default, as the holder wasn't defending.
Neale Fraser had championship point in the final of the 1960 Australian and never won the event, though he did win other Grand Slam titles. Bill Tilden had championship point in the French final of 1927 but never won the event (though he had already won the World Hard Court event on the same court). John Bromwich had three championship points in the 1948 Wimbledon final but never won the event, though he did win the Australian twice. Bromwich holds the rare distinction of having championship point in two different Grand Slam finals and losing both. In addition to the 1948 Wimbledon final, he also had a match point in the fifth set of the 1947 Australian Open final before losing.
Injury robbed another man of the possibility of winning a first Grand Slam title. The unfortunate victim was Frank Shields. Many tipped him to win the 1931 Wimbledon final against Sidney Wood, but an injury sustained in his semi final prevented him from taking to the court and Wood won the final by default to take his only Grand Slam title. Shields had also been runner up at the U. S. Open in 1930. His granddaughter Brooke Shields married Andre Agassi.
In the pro ranks Lew Hoad was runner up in seven pro slams and never won one (two at the US, two at the French and three at the British). Andres Gimeno was runner up in four pro slams (two at the French and one each at the British and U. S.) and never won one. The records for being runner up in individual pro slams without winning are the U. S. twice (Frank Sedgman and Lew Hoad), the British four times (Francisco 'Pancho' Segura) and the French twice (Lew Hoad, Pancho Gonzales and Andres Gimeno). Lew Hoad and Francisco 'Pancho' Segura were runner up in most pro slams (7 each).
Unlike the men's game, there were three female players who were runner up in four major finals without winning one: Elizabeth Ryan, Jan Lehane and Helena Sukova. Ryan was runner up at one World Hard Court (to Lenglen), twice runner up at Wimbledon (to Lenglen and Wills-Moody) and once at the US (to Bjurstedt-Mallory). Lehane was runner-up in four consecutive Australian championships, losing to Margaret Smith in straight sets every time. Sukova reached two finals at the Australian and two at the U. S., losing to Graf (twice), Evert and Navratilova. Elia de Alvarez, Jadwiga Jedzrejowska, Wendy Turnbull, Mary Jo Fernandez and Dinara Safina reached three Grand Slam finals without winning one.
Esne Boyd was runner up in five consecutive Australian finals before winning her sixth. Simone Passemard-Mathieu was runner up in six French finals before finally winning one, which is the most number of Grand Slam finals anyone has lost before finally winning one.
In individual Grand Slam tournaments, the most times a woman has been runner up without winning are: the Australian four times (Jan Lehane), the French twice (Helen Jacobs, Dorothy Head-Knode, Martina Hingis, Kim Clijsters and Dinara Safina), Wimbledon three times (Elia de Alvarez) and the U. S. four times (Evonne Goolagong-Cawley). Chris Evert was runner up in most Grand Slam finals (16), with Martina Navratilova second (14).
THE FIVE MALE THREE-TIMES LOSING FINALISTS
The five three-times male Grand Slam losing finalists' mountain ranges follow brief profiles. (7.5 on Riseley's mountain range = lost in Challenge Round).
Englishman Frank Riseley (6/7/1877-6/2/1959) reached three Challenge Rounds at Wimbledon in 1903, 1904 and 1906, losing to H. Laurie Doherty in all three matches (winning one set in the three matches in 1906). After a particularly strenuous Wimbledon in 1906, Riseley was stricken with neuritis in his playing arm, which forced him out of the game for several years.
American Frank Hunter (28/6/1894-2/12/1981) reached three Grand Slam finals between 1923 and 1929. In his first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon 1923, he was thrashed by Bill Johnston. In the U. S. final of 1928, Hunter led Henri Cochet by two sets to one before losing in five sets. The following year he also led two sets to one in the U. S. final, this time against his doubles partner Bill Tilden. Again he lost in five. When Tilden turned pro at the end of 1930, Hunter turned pro with him (Hunter was the only one of the five pre-open era finalists to play on the pro circuit). Hunter twice led two sets to one in Grand Slam finals and won a total of four sets in his three finals.
Harry Hopman (12/8/1906-27/12/1985) was the famous Australian Davis Cup captain who led his team to sixteen Davis Cup triumphs during their golden era. Hopman's playing career began in the mid 1920s. In 1930 he reached his first Grand Slam final at the Australian, losing in straight sets to Gar Moon. The following year he lost in four sets in the final to Jack Crawford. In 1932 Hopman led Crawford two sets to one in the final before losing in five. He was still a fine player when he became Davis Cup captain in 1938. By the time the war was over, Hopman was in his forties and past his best, but he continued to play in Grand Slam events until 1952. His Davis Cup captaincy continued until 1969. Then he emigrated to the U. S., where he coached the likes of John McEnroe and Vitas Gerulaitis.
Englishman Bunny Austin (26/8/1906-26/8/2000) was born a couple of weeks after Hopman and reached his first Grand Slam final a few months after Hopman reached his last. At Wimbledon 1932 Austin lost easily in the final to Ellsworth Vines. Five years later at the French he was beaten easily by Henner Henkel and the following year at Wimbledon he was overwhelmed by Don Budge. His career ended with the outbreak of war. In 2000 a very frail Austin attended the Champions Parade at Wimbledon. He died a couple of months later on his 94th birthday.
South African Eric Sturgess (10/5/1920-14/1/2004) reached the final of the first Grand Slam event he entered at the French in 1947. He lost to Hungarian Jozsef Asboth in straight sets. At the 1948 U. S. Sturgess lost in straight sets in the final to Pancho Gonzales. At the French in 1951 Sturgess lost in the final to Jaroslav Drobny in straight sets. He played his final Grand Slam event the following year.
This page treats challenge rounds as finals (not any all comer's finals). This page treats World Hard Court as a Grand Slam.
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