Players forever caught in the Big 4 Trap Ron McDaniel October 5, 2015 Players, Pro The quartet of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, collectively known as the Big Four of tennis, have dominated the sport in the recent past. They have won every Major from 2005 to 2013, with the only exceptions being Marat Safin and Juan Martin Del Potro, who won the 2005 Australian Open and 2009 US Open respectively. Even today, when their dominance is said to be on the decline, it is one of these four players who is considered the favorite to win any major title. We take a look at the greatest players who were unlucky to play in the same era as these great champions did and have failed to win a Major due to their sheer dominance. Tomas Berdych Well known for his mighty groundstrokes and his attacking gameplay, Tomas Berdych’s best result in a Grand Slam till date is to reach the final of Wimbledon in 2010, where he fell short to Rafael Nadal, beating Federer and Djokovic en route. He has reached the semi-finals of a Major on four different occasions, but has failed to produce his best during the closing stages of each tournament. His biggest achievement till date was to win the Paris masters in 2005, where he was unseeded. His other notable achievements include leading Czech Republic to consecutive Davis Cup wins in 2012 and 2013. The Czech has won a total of 10 career titles. He reached a career-high ranking of No.4 in May, 2015. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Jo-Wilfried Tsonga announced himself to the tennis world when he reached the finals of the 2008 Australian Open as an unseeded player, beating Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals. This remains his best performance in a Major till date. He has reached the semi-final stage on 5 other occasions. His biggest title win came at the Canadian masters in 2014, where he defeated 4 top 10 players en route to the title. He has managed to win 12 titles over the course of his career, which include two masters titles and has had a career-high ranking of No.5. His other notable achievements include reaching the finals of the year-end championships in 2011, where he lost to Roger Federer in 3 tight sets. He also has led France to 2 Davis Cup finals. David Nalbandian Known for his clean ball-striking and his sharp and accurate groundstrokes, Nalbandian’s best performance in a Major was reaching the Wimbledon final in 2002, where he lost to Lleyton Hewitt. He has also managed to make 5 other Major semi-finals. His greatest achievement was winning the year-end title in 2005, where he defeated Roger Federer in the final. He is the only Argentine player in history who ever reached the semi-finals or better at all four Majors. He has won 11 career titles in total, which includes two Masters Events. His highest ranking is No.3, which he reached in March 2006. His other notable achievements include leading Argentina to three Davis Cup finals (2004, 2008 and 2011). Nikolay Davydenko Davydenko’s best achievement in a Grand Slam till date is reaching the semi-finals of Roland Garros and the US Open, each on two occasions. The biggest achievement in his career was to win the year-end championship in 2009. He is known for the shots that he makes on the run, producing winners from impossible positions on the court. The Russian has won 21 career singles titles, including three ATP Masters titles. His career-highest ranking was no.3, which he attained in November 2006. His other notable achievements include winning the Davis Cup for Russia in 2006. He is also one of the very few players who hold a winning head-to-head record against Rafael Nadal (6-5). David Ferrer Widely regarded as the greatest player to never win a Grand Slam, David Ferrer’s best result in a Major was reaching the finals of Roland Garros in 2013, where he lost in straight sets to Rafael Nadal. He has also made six semi-final appearances, losing out each time to a player from the Big Four. He is known for his never-say-die attitude and is regarded as one of the fittest players on the tour and as one of the best clay court players of this era. He has managed to capture 24 career singles titles, with his best result coming in 2012 in the Paris Masters. He has consistently been in the top 10 since 2006 and reached a career-high ranking on no.3 in July 2013. He played a pivotal role in each of Spain’s Davis Cup wins in 2008-09, 2011. His other notable achievements include reaching the final of the year-end championships in 2007, where he lost to Roger Federer.