Male Tennis Stars Who Couldn’t Win French Open


Male Tennis Stars Who Couldn’t Win French Open

The French Open is often referred to as the elusive slam in tennis. The slow clay of Roland Garros gives a physical and mental challenge to players and is very hard to conquer. It is thus rightly said that clay doesn’t care for champions except for Rafael Nadal. We bring to you the great tennis players in ATP history who became world number 1, won other majors easily but could not conquer the clay of Roland Garros. 

Pete Sampras: Players Who Don’t Have A French Open Title

Male Tennis Stars Who Couldn’t Win French Open
Male Tennis Stars Who Couldn’t Win French Open

Sampras is one of the great tennis players in Open Era history. He won 14 Grand Slams titles in his astonishing career. The American legend could never lift the trophy at the French Open. Pete with his attacking play-style was probably the best of all great tennis players in the 1990s. This however turned against him in Paris. His best showing at the French Open came as a semifinal appearance in 1996. Sampras however lost in straight sets to the eventual champion Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia. 

Jimmy Connors: Players Who Don’t Have A French Open Title

He was another of great tennis players with an ultra-aggressive style of play. Connors was among the best players of his era and had a long career of 26 years. He won titles at Wimbledon, US Open and the Australian Open. The former world number 1 however could never even reach the finals in his 13 attempts at Roland Garros. He reached the French Open semis 4 times, only to bow out there. Connors was no doubt one of the great tennis players with 1274 match wins and 109 title wins in the singles arena. 

John McEnroe 

The explosive left-hander was one of the great tennis players known equally for his precocious talent and volatile temperament. McEnroe was at his best on the grass courts of Wimbledon. He won 7 Grand Slams in his singles career but could never succeed at the French Open. The American star did reach the 1984 Roland Garros final. He won the first two sets and just needed one more to lift the trophy. However, he was stunned by another one of the great tennis players Ivan Lendl of the Czech Republic. Lendl came back to win the last 3 sets and deny McEnroe the title. 

Boris Becker

The star from Germany was a formidable tennis talent on the tour. Becker was one of the great tennis players on the fast courts. He primarily relied on the serve and volley playing style. The former world number 1 won all the other 3 slams but never could win a French Open title. He also played the semis there three times but could not go beyond that. Becker regarded clay as his worst surface and could not win even a single title on the red dirt in his career.

Stefan Edberg 

Male Tennis Stars Who Couldn’t Win French Open
Male Tennis Stars Who Couldn’t Win French Open

Edberg was also unlucky on clay as his longtime rival Boris Becker. The stylish tennis star was among the triumvirate of great tennis players from Sweden in the 1970s and 1980s. He won all the other 3 slams twice in his career.  Edberg reached the French Open final in 1989. He lost the match in the 5 set titanic contest to the inspired Chinese teenager Michael Chang. Edberg also relied more on the serve and volley playing technique.

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