Meet the last 3 Grand Slam champions not to have won a Masters 1000 title
- The last 3 Grand Slam champions not to have won a Masters 1000 title in their career
The ATP Masters 1000 series consists of 9 tournaments - Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo, Madrid, Rome, Coupe Rogers (alternates between Toronto and Montreal), Cincinnati, Shanghai, and Paris-Bercy, which award 1000 points to their respective winner.
First introduced in 1990 as the ATP Championship Series, 69 different players have lifted a title in the tournament category, with Daniil Medvedev becoming the latest player to join the winner's club following his straight-sets win over first-time Masters 1000 finalist David Goffin at 2019 Cincinnati.
Rafael Nadal (35), Novak Djokovic (34), and Roger Federer (28) are the most successful players in ATP Masters 1000 history, with the trio winning the most titles of any player in the tournament category. Perhaps, not surprisingly, the trio - Federer (20), Nadal (19), and Djokovic (17) are also the three all-time Grand Slam title leaders in the Open Era.
With his win over Andy Murray in the 2016 Cincinnati Masters final, 2014 US Open champion Marin Čilić became the 28th different major winner to win a Masters 1000 title. On that note, let us meet the last 3 Grand Slam winners never to have won triumphed at a Masters 1000 tournament.
#3 Gaston Gaudio | 2004 Roland Garros Champion
Gaston Gaudio won the biggest title of his career at 2004 Roland Garros after saving championship points against compatriot Guillermo Coria. In an era of specialists, 8-time titlist Gaudio reached 16 tournament finals, all on his preferred surface of clay, but never made the title round in 60 appearances at Masters 1000 tournaments.
The Argentinian's best performance in the tournament category were a trio of semi-finals at 2000 Monte Carlo, 2003 Hamburg, and 2006 Monte Carlo respectively, besides reaching the quarter-finals at 5 other tournaments.
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#2 Yevgeny Kafelnikov | 1996 Roland Garros, 1999 Australian Open Champion
Yevgeny Kafelnikov is a two-time Grand Slam champion, lifting the two biggest titles of his career at 1996 Roland Garros and the 1999 Australian Open. However, a Masters 1000 title is conspicuously absent in the major winner's resume.
After losing his first 4 Masters 1000 finals at 1994 Hamburg (Andrei Medvedev), 1996 Paris-Bercy (Thomas Enqvist), 1998 Stuttgart (Richard Krajicek), and 1999 Coupe Rogers (Thomas Johansson), Kafelnikov reached his 5th and last final in the tournament category at 2001 Paris-Bercy where he took on local hope Sebastian Grosjean.
After dropping the first two sets, Kafelnikov reduced arrears by taking the third on a tie-break. But the comeback from the former world no. 1 would prove short-lived though, as Grosjean took the fourth set 6-4 to win his sole Masters 1000 title.
#1 Andres Gomez | 1990 Roland Garros Champion
Andres Gomez became the first player from Ecuador to lift a Grand Slam title when he beat a teenaged Andre Agassi in the 1990 Roland Garros title match to become the oldest first-time Grand Slam titlist since Andres Gimeno at 1972 Roland Garros.
Gomez is the last lefthander to win the claycourt major before a certain Rafael Nadal did so on a staggering 12 occasions. However, in 17 Masters 1000 appearances, Gomez never made it past the semi-finals, losing to eventual winners Thomas Muster at 1990 Rome and to Stefan Edberg at 1990 Cincinnati respectively in the last-4 at both tournaments.
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Published 11 Mar 2020, 13:13 IST