10 male players with most consecutive Grand Slam appearances
Andy Murray failed to participate in the 2018 Wimbledon, having struggled to reach peak fitness levels following his hip surgery. It has been more than a year since Murray last played at the Grand Slam level. There has been a spate of injuries on the men's side since 2016, and nearly every top player has fallen prey to it. It has ignited a lot of debates regarding the surfaces, and the best of five format, but the truth is that tennis is a very physical sport and injuries are a part of it. Nearly all the top players are close to 30, and with age, the risk of injuries are ever increasing.
To play at a consistent level at Grand Slams is a very difficult task. Equally difficult is to turn up at every Slam with peak fitness levels. Success comes to a player only when he is playing at full tilt. Novak Djokovic and Kei Nishikori are two contrasting examples of how fitness affects a player's chances at the highest level.
Over the course of tennis history, there are several players who have maintained a high level of fitness and consistency. There are 4 Grand Slam tournaments during a year, and the conditions are vastly different in every single one of them. To turn up at each Slam over a period of time is a very difficult task, and must be appreciated as such.
Following is a look at the Top 10 players with most consecutive Grand Slam appearances:
(10) David Ferrer (Spain): 50
From: 2003 Australian Open to 2015 French Open.
Win-Loss Record: 145-62.
Best Performance: Final (2013 French Open)
David Ferrer made his Grand Slam debut at the 2003 Australian Open, and has only missed 1 Grand Slam in his 15-year career. Ferrer was forced to miss the 2015 Wimbledon due to an elbow injury, snapping his streak at 50. If it were not for that injury, Ferrer would be close to the top of this list. It is a perfect encapsulation of his career; so near and yet so far. Ferrer has won 725 matches in his career, a record for players without a Grand Slam title.
Ferrer has won 27 titles in his career, and 13 of them have come on clay. It is then no surprise that Ferrer has performed his best at the French Open. Ferrer reached the final of the 2013 French Open, but was swept aside by Rafael Nadal in straight sets. Ferrer reached the semi-finals in 2012, and has made the quarter-finals on 4 different occasions as well. He is no slouch on other surfaces either, having made the semi-finals at the Australian Open twice (2011, 2013), and the US Open twice as well (2007, 2012). He also made the Quarter-finals at Wimbledon in 2012 and 2013, which remains his best performance there.
Ferrer achieved his career-high ranking of 3 in 2013, and has ended the year as a top 10 player eight times, 7 times in a row (2009-2015). Ferrer is a 3-time Davis Cup winner, and also made the final at the World Tour finals in 2007. The Spaniard is near the end of his career, and while he may never win a Slam, he will be an inspiration to his fellow athletes and fans across the globe.