Meet the trio with the most losses in ATP Masters 1000 finals without winning one
- This is one stat all three of these ATP stars would wish they weren't associated with.
The ATP Masters 1000 series, as of 2019, consists of the tournaments in Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo, Madrid, Rome, Coupe Rogers (alternates between Toronto and Montreal), Cincinnati, Shanghai, and Paris-Bercy, awards 1000 points to the winner.
Known by various names over the years since its introduction in 1990, the series ranks only behind the Grand Slams and the ATP Finals in terms of prestige and ranking points awarded. Each of the four Grand Slam tournaments awards 2000 points to their respective winners while an undefeated champion at the season-ending ATP Final earns 1500 points.
Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Roger Federer are the three most successful players in the history of the Masters 1000 series, with the trio's respective title hauls of 35, 34, and 28 being the most by any player to have won a title in the tournament category.
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Denis Shapovalov became the latest player to lose his first Masters 1000 final when he lost to Djokovic in the final of the 2019 Paris-Bercy Masters. On that note, let us meet the trio who has fallen short in most Masters 1000 finals without winning one.
# T2: Kei Nishikori (0/4)
Nishikori looked good for his Masters 1000 breakthrough in his first final in the tournament series after leading Nadal by a set and a break.in the 2014 Madrid Masters title match.
However, afflicted by an injury which severely affected Nishikori's level of play, Nadal sensed the opportunity to come roaring back into the contest. With parity restored, the Spaniard won the first three games of the decider before Nishikori could continue no further.
Two years later, the Japanese fell to Djokovic in straight-set finals at the Miami Masters and the Coupe Rogers before locking horns with Nadal for the second time in a Masters final at 2018 Monte Carlo.
On the day, though, more final misery laid in wait for Nishikori as the defending champion conceded only 5 games to become the first player to win 11 titles at a Masters 1000 tournament.
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#T2: Mardy Fish (0-4)
Since falling to compatriot Andy Roddick in a third set tiebreak in his first Masters 1000 final at the 2003 Cincinnati Open, Mardy Fish came up short in subsequent finals in the tournament category at 2008 Indian Wells (Djokovic) and 2010 Cincinnati (Federer).
At the 2011 Coupe Rogers, Fish reached his 4th and last Masters 1000 final where he took on Djokovic. After conceding the opener, the American fought his way back into contention by taking the second.
But on the day Djokovic was too clutch for Fish, taking the decider 6-4 to win his 9th title of the season. In the process, Djokovic became the first player to lift 5 Masters 1000 titles in a season as Fish fell short in his 4th Masters 1000 final in as many attempts.
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#1 Yevgeniy Kafelnikov (0-5)
Yevgeniy Kafelnikov is perhaps a surprise inclusion in this group. The two-time Grand Slam (1996 Roland Garros, 1999 Australian Open) champion has no Masters 1000 titles against his name despite making 5 finals in the tournament category.
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.
The former world no. 1 lost his opening two sets but reduced arrears by taking the third on a tiebreak. The comeback from Kafelnikov proved short-lived though, as Grosjean took the fourth set 6-4 to win his sole Masters 1000 title.
You may also like: 5 lowest-ranked Masters 1000 winners.Published 10 Mar 2020, 22:20 IST