French Open fever is gripping the tennis world as the best in the world fight it out on the red clay courts of Roland Garros yet again, for the coveted Grand Slam trophy. Over the years, this prestigious tournament has served up more than few classic tennis matches. Legends have come and legends have gone, but not all left with the crown.
Current World No.2 Novak Djokovic has had major success at other three Grand Slams. But, it was the French Open that really tested his calibre . He came closest in 2015, when he lost out in the Final to surprise champion Stan Wawrinka. And soon the tables turned as Djokovic came back the next year to bag the trophy becoming the eighth player in history to achieve the Career Grand Slam.
Before Djokovic there were many players who struggled at this surface for a long time, but unlike him could never win it eventually. Let’s take a look at some of these great players.
5. Boris Becker
Boris “Boom Boom” Becker was never meant for the clay court. A crowd favourite with his acrobatics around the net, Becker is certainly one of the most iconic players in history. His fast paced serve and volley game, adding to great net play, made him suited for the grass courts. But Boris never could adapt to clay. He has amassed a total of 49 titles in his career and not a single one came on the clay court.
Becker wasn’t too far away though, as he reached the semi-finals of the French Open 3 times (1987, 89, 91) but he could never beat the best on the surface. With 6 Grand Slams to his name (2 Australian, 3 Wimbledon, 1 US), he just fell short of achieving the career Grand Slam. While his win percentage on hard, grass and carpet are around 80%, he just has a 66% win percent on clay.
In present times, Becker has coached Novak Djokovic in the past and the partnership resulted in man wins including the first French Open title for the Serb. Their association came to an end shortly after the biggest win of the duo.