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Top 5 men's doubles players/teams who failed to make an impact in singles

Top 5 / Top 10
992   //    16 Oct 2015, 15:03 IST

Proof that two heads are definitely better than oneThe doubles scene in the history of tennis has been synonymous with some great names gracing the courts with their breathtaking tennis. As good as they were when it came to doubles, quite a few of them have found it difficult to consistently make a mark in the singles format of the game. In fact, only a handful of players have been able to shine consistently in both singles and doubles like John McEnroe, Stefan Edberg, Martina Navratilova and Martina Hingis, to name a few. Here, we take a look at some of the greatest doubles players who fall into that category.

#5 Daniel Nestor

Daniel Nestor and Kristina Mladenovic holding the 2014 Australian Open mixed doubles trophy 

Canadian Daniel Nestor has won 88 men's doubles titles, including a Gold medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics, 4 ATP World Tour Finals, and 8 Grand Slam men's doubles titles. In addition, he has won 4 Grand slam mixed doubles titles. He also helped Canada reach a Davis Cup semifinal in 2013.

In sharp contrast to his doubles record, Nestor has just been unable to make a mark in singles. His career win-loss record in singles stands at 85-118, and he has not managed to win even a single ATP title. His career-highest ATP singles ranking is 58. His best performance in a major till date is reaching the round of 16 in Wimbledon in 1999.

#4 Jonas Bjorkman

Todd Woodbridge (left) and Jonas Bjorkman (right) with the 2004 Wimbledon men’s doubles trophy

Jonas Bjorkman, the current coach of Andy Murray, had an illustrious doubles career, winning 9 men’s doubles Grand slams. The former world no.1 has won 54 career doubles titles. His other notable achievements include winning the year-end championships twice in 1994 and 2006. 

On the contrary, Bjorkman has only 6 career singles titles and has a career singles win-loss record of 414-362. His best performance in a major was reaching the semifinal of the US Open in 1997 and Wimbledon in 2006. Even though he has a career-highest ranking of no.4, he has simply not been able to maintain the consistency in his level of play in singles as compared to what he has been able to do in doubles.

#3 Leander Paes

Paes with the Bronze medal in the 1996 Olympics

Another all-time great and probably one of the finest players that India has ever produced, Leander Paes is the holder of 8 doubles and 9 mixed doubles Grand slam titles, and is also the oldest man to have won a grand slam title. He has won a total of 55 ATP career doubles titles and is a former world no.1. 

Paes announced himself to the world when he won the Bronze medal in the summer Olympics held at Atlanta in 1996. He has however, failed to live up to the expectations after that magical run in the Olympics. The best he has been able to do in a Grand slam singles tournament is to reach the 3rd round of the US Open in 1997. He has a singles career win-loss record of 99-98 and a career-highest ranking 73. He has been able to win just one singles title.


#2 The Woodies

The Woodies, Woodforde(L) and Woodbridge(R) holding the Wimbledon men’s doubles trophy

The Woodies is the nickname given to the duo of Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde. The pair is considered as one of the greatest teams of all time. The Australian duo has won 11 Grand Slam titles, 2 year-end championships and have led their country to Davis Cup glory in 1999.  The pair has won a total 61 ATP career doubles titles contesting as a team. The pair also have 12 mixed doubles Majors between them, with Woodbridge and Woodforde winning 7 and 5 of them respectively.

Yet, neither of these two great doubles champions have been able to produce the same impact in singles as they have had in doubles. Woodbridge’s career win-loss record in singles reads 244-236, while that of Woodforde is 319-312. Woodbridge and Woodforde have won only 6 titles between them and both of them have a career-highest ranking of 19. Their best performance in a major has been reaching the semifinal; Woodbridge did it in Wimbledon in 1997 while Woodforde did it in the Australian Open in 1996. 

#1 The Bryan brothers

The Bryan brothers doing their traditional chest bump

No.1 on the list is pretty obvious. The twins, Bob and Mike, have captured 16 Grand Slam Men’s doubles titles, and are widely regarded as the greatest duo of all time. In addition to this amazing haul, they also have won 4 year-end championships, one Davis Cup and Gold in the summer Olympics in London. Apart from this, they have 5 mixed doubles Grand slam titles between them, with Bob winning 4 and Mike winning one. With a whopping 109 titles between them and a total of 440 weeks atop of the rankings chart, there is no question of the pair’s supremacy in doubles tennis.

Both these brothers, however, have not shined much in singles. They have a combined win-loss record of 26-51 in their singles careers. Neither of them have made it to the top 100 singles rankings, and neither has managed to win a singles title. Both of them have hardly made the main draw of all the Majors and even when they did, they lost in the early stages.     

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