By Chris Oddo | Monday, May 12, 2014
Tomas Berdych has had a lot to smile about in his career, but when he meets Rafael Nadal the smile has turned upside down.
Photo Source: Corleve
Life can be pretty damn tough on the ATP Tour. Non-stop travel to cities where nobody knows you and there is not enough time to unpack the suitcase; the prevalence of injuries, occupational stress and strange, unpredictable working hours.
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To make matters even worse, wins can prove to be even more elusive than praise from the unforgiving media. To prove it, here's a list of the top five currently active streaks of ineptitude happening on the ATP tour.
If you've got a heart you'll start pulling for each of these players to do a little streak-busting before the year is through...
Ryan Harrison's Record Against the Top 10
The 22-year-old American was touted as a potential top 10 player when he burst onto the scene at the 2010 U.S. Open with a huge upset victory over Ivan Ljubicic in the first round. But Harrison hasn't delivered on the promise, and when he has run up against other members of the ATP top 10, he's been flat-out miserable.
Harrison's 0-20 record against the top 20 is the worst on tour at the moment, but there is hope for the American. Both Santiago Giraldo and Carlos Berlocq ended 0-19 runs to achieve their first top-10 victories in the last few weeks. Berlocq actually defeated top 10 players in back-to-back matches in Oeiras (Berdych and Raonic), while Giraldo took down Andy Murray last week in Madrid.
Jerzy Janowicz's Nine-Match Losing Streak
The Pole is closing in on double-digits in the consecutive loss category, but he's got a way to go before he becomes a candidate to match Vince Spadea's epic 21-match losing streak, which ended for the "Charlie Brown of Tennis" in 2000 with an upset win over Greg Rusedski at Wimbledon. Bottom line? Janowicz is too talented for all this losing, but then again, aren't all pros?
Marinko Matosevic's Run of Futility at Grand Slams
The rough-and-tumble Aussie has done nothing but tumble out of Grand Slam main draws ever since his career began. After dropping a five-setter at this year's Australian Open to Kei Nishikori, Matosevic is now 0-12 in Grand Slam action.
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Julien Benneteau's Rough Luck in Finals
The Frenchman has no problem making finals—he's now made nine—but once he gets there he's about as effective as a Kleenex is when tasked with cleaning up an oil spill. In losing his first nine career ATP finals, Benneteau is currently tied with Cedric Pioline and Pat Dupre, who each lost their first nine. Dupre was 10th-time lucky winning his 10th (and final) career final in Hong Kong in '82, while Pioline went on to win five of his last eight finals.
Benneteau has certainly had his chances—he was the higher-ranked player in four of his nine finals.
Tomas Berdych's Run of Ineptitude Against Rafael Nadal
With his recent loss to Rafael Nadal in Madrid, Tomas Berdych tied Tim Mayotte's long-standing record of ineptitude against another ATP player. Both Berdych and Mayotte lost 17 consecutive matches against a single, daunting foe (Mayotte was 0-17 for his career against Lendl, while Berdych has now lost 17 straight to Nadal), and according to TennisStastics, that's the longest streak in ATP history.
Apparently Rafa has been doubling as the king of Berdych when he's not sitting on his king of clay throne. But at least Berdych can boast three victories against Nadal in the pair's first four meetings—poor Tim Mayotte spent his whole career being flummoxed by Lendl without a single victory to show for it.