Being regarded as one of the greatest in any sport is a big achievement for any sportsperson and it is no different for tennis.
Over the years, number of players have put up some scintillating performances throughout their careers and have had their name written in the history books as one of the greatest players to have graced the sport. Many of these players have accomplished great feats including being World No.1, winning all four Grand Slams, winning Olympic Gold with Steffi Graf even achieving the feat of a Golden Slam in 1988 which includes winning all four Grand Slams and an Olympic Gold in the same year.
However, there have been many legends of the sport who have won a number of tournaments and accolades but have some big trophies missing from their cabinet. Let’s take a look at ten absolute legends of the sport who haven’t been able to win some big tournaments in their career.
#10. Martina Hingis- French Open
It may come as a real surprise that one of the greatest tennis players was denied a Career Slam but that’s the case for Martina Hingis Considered to be one of the greatest tennis players of all-time, had it not been for her ankle injuries, Hingis would definitely have won thrice the number of Grand Slam Singles titles.
She is one of only few players who have reached at least the final of all four majors across Singles, Doubles and Mixed Doubles.
Hingis was at the top of the WTA rankings for a total of 209 weeks. At the age of 15 years and 9 months, Hingis became the youngest-ever Grand Slam champion across all three circuits and at the age of 16 years and 117 days, Hingis became the youngest-ever Grand Slam Singles champion by winning her first Grand Slam 72 days before Monica Seles.
The ‘Swiss Miss’ has won five Grand Slam Singles titles that include three consecutive Australian Open titles from 1997-1999, a Wimbledon title in 1997, and a US Open title also in 1997. She also won two WTA Finals in 1998 and 2000.
However, the French Open eluded Hingis with her best performance being reaching the final in 1997 and 1999. 1997 was expected to be Hingis’ year and she began beautifully by winning the Australian Open title and was expected to be a prime contender for the French Open title.
Seeded first, Hingis beat a couple of former champions in Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and Monica Seles in the quarters and semis respectively. However, she was beaten by ninth seed Croatian Iva Majoli in the final in straight sets.
Two years later, in 1999, Hingis once again made the final as the top seed and prior to her final against Steffi Graf, she hadn’t dropped a single set throughout the tournament. She even took the first set and was three points away from victory in the second set but Graf bounced back and took the match and her first Grand Slam in three years.
She later made a couple of semi-final appearances in 2000 and 2001 before injuries forced her to retire prematurely. However, she came back but only made it to the quarter-finals in 2006. Martina Hingis is definitely the greatest female tennis player to have been denied a Career Slam in the singles.