Having won the Quito ATP tournament for the third time in a row earlier this month, Victor Estrella Burgos has only ever won this competition. If this type of CV remains exceptional in tennis, other current or retired players have also been counting on a particular tournament to fill up their trophy cabinets.
Let’s not fool ourselves : Mahut is mainly a doubles player. With sixteen titles wons in this category (including two Grand Slam titles), the Frenchman is the kind of guy who prefers playing in a team. Still, at 35, the one who’s won twelve Challenger and four Future tournaments has also won four titles on the ATP circuit…including three at the same place. Except the Newport tournament which he won in 2013 less than a month after winning his first title (and where he was also a finalist in 2007, the Angers-born tennisman has also won three editions of the s’Hertogenbosch tournament (Netherlands, grass) out of the last four. A record for this ATP 250 tournament, which he shares with Patrick Rafter. And he has defeated some pretty prestigious names in the finals : Stanislas Wawrinka in 2013 (the year when he enlisted at the very last minute, went through the qualifying rounds and didn’t lose a single set in the final table), David Goffin in 2015, and Gilles Müller in 2016. The only anomaly : Nicolas has never won the tournament in the doubles (but played a final in 2015). He’ll get another try next June.
What if the Casablanca tournament had never existed ? Well, Andujar’s trophy cabinet would be as empty as a beach in a winter. Being the most decorated player in the history of the competition (a record he shares with Guillermo Perez Roldan), the Spaniard has lifted the trophy twice on the Moroccan clay. First in 2011, when he easily defeated Potito Starace in the final (6-1, 6-2). Then the following year, when he outplayed Albert Ramos-Viñolas (6-1, 7-5). Other than that ? He won another ATP 250 in Gstaad in 2014, but mainly lost four finals since 2010. Enough to imagine that he received the 398 250 euros of prize money granted to the winner of the Casablanca tournament with a smile.
It’s possible to have been a world number 4 and still have a CV as slim as Averell Dalton. It’ Victor Troiki’s case, who’s only won three ATP 250 tournaments (all on hard surfaces). The first one, won in Moscow in 2010, is surely not the most important, despite the one million euros cheque which came with the victory. The others, both won in Sydney, have a much better taste. As they were both won at key moments. In January 2015, the Serb had just come back from a twelve-month doping suspension and wanted to prove to everyone that he was worth much more than the reputation of a cheater. He went through the qualifying rounds in Australia, and consecutively defeated Martin Klizan, Pablo Andujar, Simone Bolelli, Gilles Müller, and Mikhail Kukushkin, who had also gone through the qualifying rounds (it was notably the first time on the ATP circuit that two players having been through the qualifying rounds were facing each other in a final). A year later, Viktor won the tournament again, after battling with Grigor Dimitrov in the final (2-6, 6-1, 7-6). A little comfort for the man who has lost six finals since 2006.
A Brazilian who shone in Switzerland. This is how we could describe his career if we had to sum it up in six words. A clay specialist, Thomaz has won four ATP 250 tournaments : one in Santiago (2010), one in Geneva (2015), and two others in Gstaad (2009 and 2012). At 29 years old, he still has time to win more trophies, but right now, here’s our analysis : Belluci loves Roger Federer’s country. It’s there that he truly launched his series of victories by notably defeating Wawrinka in the second round of the 2009 edition of the Gstaad tournament. It’s also there that he partly confirmed his potential, also in Gstaad but in 2012, by consecutively defeating Dimitrov, Feliciano López, Mikhail Youzhny, Blaž Kavčič and Janko Tipsarević. And there as well that he broke his three-year winless drought by winning the Geneva tournament in 2015. So, when is he going to win in Bâle ?
Of course, he’s only 24 years old. But the bad boy already has his lucky tournament. The Bogota ATP 25. Yes, he aspires to do better. Much better. But the winner of two Grand Slam tournaments in the junior category mustn’t forget that until now, he’s only won two ATP 250 tournaments on the main circuit. The first one in Sydney in 2013 (where he also lost a final a year later). After all pretty logical for an Australian. The two other are a little more mysterious. The young tennisman has won two trophies in Colombia : in 2014, he made the most of an invitation to qualify for the final and defeat Ivo Karlovic in two sets, and two winning tie-breaks (7-6, 3-6, 7-6). Same thing the following year, with a much less complicated route to the final, where he defeated Adrien Mannarino (6-1, 3-6, 6-2). Unlucky for Tomic, there was no edition of the tournament in 2016, as the tournament has been definitely called off. Enough to make Bernard even more angry.
You don’t know much about the Kitzbühel tournament ? It’s an ATP 250 which takes place in Austria, and which Haase deeply enjoys. The Dutchman has lifted the cup twice in a row. In 2011, after defeating Albert Montañes in the final (6-4, 4-6, 6-1) after having consecutively knocked out Starace, Feliciano López, Andreas Seppi and João Souza. And in 2012, against Philipp Kohlschreiber (6-7, 6-3, 6-2). His only two trophies won in the singles. Thankfully for him, he’s won two other tournaments in the doubles, in Marseille, and Gstaad. A little more prestigious.
An eleven-year long career, and zero title won. Well, only if we forget about his performances in the doubles (eight titles, ten lost finals) and if we also forget to mention the Singapore tournament, who opened its doors to the mens circuit for only eight years. Jones had the luxury of winning the two first editions (1989 and 1990). Marcelo Rios equalled his record, by winning the two last editions (1998 and 1999).
His best ever ranking in the singles : 55th. His best ever ranking in the doubles : 52nd. Number of titles won in the singles : two. Number of titles won in the doubles : two. Number of finals lost in the singles : one. Number of finals lost in the doubles (without taking in account the mixed doubles) : one. In the end, the only difference in Shelton’s careers in the singles and the doubles is only about a place. If he had won in Mexico and Australia when he was with a teammate, he’s only won in his home country, the USA, when he was going solo. He’s won the Newport tournament twice in a row (1991 and 1992). Enough to make his crowd happy.