Take Five : Top 5 One Slam Wonders of the 21st Century

Hi Folks! Thanks for the fantastic response to my Take Five series. It has so far amassed 230+ views and the articles on Shah Rukh Khan and Britney Spears are both nearing 100+ views. I had always wanted this series to be a five part one and here I am writing the fifth and final instalment. Tennis has been an integral part of pop culture worldwide and also my website (with my piece on Monica Seles crossing 600 + Views). So here is Whims and Quirks with the Top 5 one slam wonders of the 21st century.

1) Gaston Gaudio (Winner – French Open – 2004)

Gaston Gaudio with his championship Trophy

To be honest, the only time I heard about Gaston Gaudio is when he out of nowhere won the French Open in 2004.He had the best two weeks of his entire career and did deliver when it mattered the most. He came into the tournament ranked 44th and consequently unseeded. He defeated top players of that time like Lleyton Hewitt and David Nalbandian enroute the final and emerged victorious in a battle of 5 sets between two Argentines. His opponent and compatriot, Guillermo Coria, was seeded 3 and was a pre tournament favorite. Gaudio’s career went complete downhill from here so much so that he never reached another quarterfinal at a slam ever. He announced his retirement in August 2011.

Career Stats

Prize Money – $6 Million, Win-Loss – 270-196 (58%), Career Titles – 8, Highest Ranking -5

2) Anatasia Myskina (Winner – French Open – 2004)

Anastasia Myskina with the French Open Title

The pioneer of the Russian Revolution in Women’s tennis, Anatasia Myskina, is #2 on my list. She had a fine career before her win at the French open 2004 and had finished inside the Top 10 in 2003. She entered the French Open 2004 as the 6th seed and was one of the pre tournament favorites. Also she defeated former world #1s like Venus Williams and Jennifer Capriati enroute her final which she won left right and center against fellow Russian Elena Dementieva. Her moderately successful post French Open 2004 career ran till mid 2007, when she stopped playing after a career threatening injury. She could never live up to her 2004 victory at Roland Garros, in the remaining 3 years of her grand slam career, her best run being two back to back quarterfinals at Wimbledon (2005, 2006). She is also one of the few players to lose in the first round of a slam as a defending champion.

Career Stats

Prize Money -$5 Million, Win-Loss – 355-191(65%), Career Titles – 10, Highest Ranking -2

3) Marion Bartoli (Winner – Wimbledon – 2013)

Marion Bartoli with her Wimbledon Title

At my #3 on the list is one of the few players who had a two handed forehand, the French, Marion Bartoli. She had a fairly successful career overall, reaching two Wimbledon finals and winning the latter in 2013. But what astonishes me is that she announced her retirement just 40 days after her win at Wimbledon. She was a good grass court player (did not lose a single set in Wimbledon 2013) and could have at least defended her lone grand slam championship.

Career Stats

Prize Money -$11 Million, Win-Loss – 490-299(62%), Career Titles – 8, Highest Ranking7

4) Thomas Johannson (Winner – Australian Open – 2002)

Thomas Johannson at Australian Open 2002 with his Championship Trophy

Australian Open 2002 was Thomas Johansson’s 25th Grand Slam and he had never progressed beyond the quarters before.He entered the tournament as the 16th seed and was never a pre-tournament favorite. It was a fairy tale run for him as the highest seed he met in the entire tournament was the 9th Seed Marat Safin in the final whom he defeated in four sets. He could never live upto his win at the Australian Open and was plagued by injuries throughout his career. He retired in mid 2009 from professional tennis after a 15 year career.

Career Stats

Prize Money -$7 Million, Win-Loss – 357-296(55%), Career Titles – 9, Highest Ranking -7

5) Albert Costa (Winner – French Open – 2002)

Albert Coata with his French Open Trophy

Rounding off my Top 5 list is the 2002 French Open winner Albert Costa. The Spaniard entered his 26th grand slam as the 20th seed and defeated the 7th seed and defending champion Gustavo Kuerten in the 4th round of the tournament. He defeated future world #1 Juan Carlos Ferrero in 4 sets in the final to win his only major. He could never replicate his grand slam success and retired 4 years later in 2006. He did reach the semis at the 2003 French Open but that was the only instance where he could better the 3rd round at grand slams.

Career Stats

Prize Money -$7 Million, Win-Loss – 385-273(58%), Career Titles – 12, Highest Ranking6

Honorable Mentions – Samantha Stosur, Goran Ivanesvic, Marin Cilic, Del Potro, Flavia Pennetta, Francesca Schiavone

That was my top 5 list, please comment with your list of one slam wonders in the comment section below.

Authored By – Abinash Gupta

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(Disclaimer – I do not own the rights to the images displayed on the page. The rights remain with their rightful owners. The images are sourced from various public online sources to provide references to the Tennis Players.)