In music when a band or musician has a monster hit and then can’t replicate that they are called “one-hit wonders”. So I thought I would have a look at a similar situation in tennis where a player has won one of the four majors but has never reached another major final again.
Now before you start jumping on me and suggesting I am being negative about players, take a deep breath. It has nothing to do with that at all. I commend any player who has won one of the four majors.
I’m not making fun of the players, they can only beat who is in front of them so if the situation opens up for them, then good luck to them.
It’s a sterling achievement to claim one of the big four and that proud effort will remain with them forever, but there was a thought that maybe there were a few one-hit wonders in tennis during the open-era.
In fact there are not that many and being excused from this list are Juan Martin Del Potro and Petra Kvitova who are still very much active players with the possibilities of reaching other major finals, if not winning them.
Since the start of the Open-era there have been 181 majors played. This year’s US Open will be the 182nd. The breakdown is Australian Open 44 – even though the Open era started in 1968 the Australian Championships had its first Open in 1969 and in 1986 there was no Australian Open – the French Open has seen 46, Wimbledon has played 46 and up to now the US Open is at 45.
The French Open leads the way with ten players. Andres Gimeno reached his only Slam final and ultimately won Roland Garros in 1972, Adriano Panatta made it and won his only Slam final at Roland Garros in 1976, Yannick Noah the same in 1983 while Andres Gomez did it in 1990.
More recently with the French Open Thomas Muster fell into the category in 1995, Albert Costa in 2002 and Gaston Gaudio in 2004. In the women’s back in 1976 it was Sue Barker, then 1997 with Iva Majoli and most recently Anastasia Myskina in 2004.
The Australian Open is next on the list with six such players and from that list three in particular stand out – Mark Edmondson from 1976, Christine O’Neill from 1978 and Barbara Jordan from 1979. The others are Brian Teacher in 1980, Petr Korda in 1998 and Thomas Johansson in 2002.
Wimbledon has only had one, one-hit wonder and that was Conchita Martinez in 1994.
Incredibly, when you look back on the honour board for the US Open there is not a single one-hit wonder. Wonder if that might change in a few weeks’ time.
And to all those one time winners who never reached another major final … we salute you for doing once what the majority will never come close to doing.