Tennis Prose



World No. 2s, Close But No Cigar

There were nine ATP players who climbed all the way up the mountain to the world no. 2 ranking but fell just short of no. 1 and all the prestige, honor and not to mention, lucrative bonuses that go with being the ATP kingpin.

Marcelo Rios famously became no. 1 in Miami in 1998 when he beat Andre Agassi in the final, thus earing $2.5m in bonuses each from his sponsors Nike and Yonex.

Magnus Norman of Sweden, never won a major and only played in one Grand Slam final at Roland Garros, but he was world no. 2 in the year 2000.

Michael Chang was also no. 2 and lost a match to Patrick Rafter at US Open which cost him the top spot.

Tommy Haas was also a no. 2 without winning any Grand Slams or playing in any major finals.

Alex Corretja was no. 2 in 1999.

Guillermo Vilas was controversially ranked no. 2 in 1977.

Goran Ivanisevic was no. 2 in 1994.

Arthur Ashe was no. 2 in 1976.

Petr Korda was no. 2 in 1998 and had four different matches at four touraments where, had he won, he would have been ranked numero uno. But Korda lost those four matches.

And lastly, Daniil Medevedev is stationed at the two spot, chasing Novak Djokovic.

Several other players reached a career high ranking of no. 3 including David Ferrer, Sergi Bruguera, Stan Wawrinka, Grigor Dimitrov, Brian Gottfried, Rod Laver, among others.

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  • Bill McGill · December 16, 2021 at 4:14 pm

    An underappreciated Federer line was when he was asked about which next gen he thought might be the next world no. 1. Federer demurred saying it’s no easy task and suggested the reporter ask Andy Murray how hard it can be to get to no. 1.

    It’s forgotten now, but Nadal has spent more weeks at no. 2 than any player in history: 370 weeks with over 200+ of those weeks being consecutive. He spent a little over 3 years at no. 2 between August 2005 and August 2008 before finally overtaking Federer.

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 16, 2021 at 6:49 pm

    Bill, Djokovic must have the record for sititng at no. 3 all those years. Getting to no 1 in tennis is one of the most difficult tasks in all of sport. No ended up there by fluke, not even Muster Rafter Safin Kafel or Rios. Or Guga. They all earned it.

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 21, 2021 at 9:53 pm

    Never confuse faith you will prevail in the end – which you can never afford to lose – with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.- James Stockdale



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