Murray, Seles, Del Potro: The 7 most unlucky tennis stars of all-time

The most unlucky tennis players ever

Sometimes tennis can be a cruel sport. 

While there is likely no better feeling than winning a Grand Slam title, the heartbreak of losing in a final is a bitter pill to swallow for many. 

Equally, though tennis players dream of long and prosperous careers, some have been unfortunate enough to suffer injuries that cut short their playing days. 

Over the years, there have been plenty of players that had next to no luck. 

As such, we’ve ranked some of the most ‘unlucky’ players of all time. 

Who are the most unlucky tennis players ever?

Andy Murray

Murray is undoubtedly one of the best British athletes ever and was often referred to as being part of tennis’ ‘Big Four’, alongside Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal

However, many consider the Scot unfortunate to have competed with arguably the three best male players to grace the game. 

Though Murray claimed three Grand Slam titles and two Olympic golds, he would no doubt have won many more, had he played during any other era. 

In total, the former world number one lost eight Grand Slam finals –– five of which came against Djokovic and three against Federer. 

Andy Murray wins gold at Olympics
LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 03: Andy Murray of Great Britain celebrates his 7-5, 7-5 win against Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the Semifinal of Men’s Singles Tennis on Day 7 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Wimbledon on August 3, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Caroline Wozniacki 

Wozniacki was one of the best players in the world throughout the 2010s and was ranked number one for a total of 71 weeks. 

Yet, for whatever reason, the Danish star always seemed to struggle in Grand Slams. 

Meanwhile, her best friend Serena Williams was busy winning almost everything and breaking numerous records. 

Eventually, in 2018, Wozniacki claimed her first and only major title at the Australian Open –– finally clinching the piece of silverware she richly deserved. 

Caroline Wozniacki
Caroline Wozniacki

Robin Söderling

Söderling is best remembered for one thing –– being the first player to beat Nadal at the French Open. 

Indeed, the Swedish star beat the Spaniard in 2009, before losing to Federer in the final. 

The following year, he reached the final once more but lost to Nadal in straight sets. 

Söderling was a natural on clay and could easily have contended for many more Grand Slam titles. 

However, he was forced to retire aged only 26, after contracting a lingering bout of mononucleosis.

Monica Seles

There is no denying that Seles could have been the best female tennis player ever. 

In 1990, she won the French Open, aged just 16, and had eight Grand Slam titles by the time she was 20. 

Shockingly, In 1993, she was the victim of an on-court attack and was stabbed in the back by an obsessed fan. 

Seles returned to tennis two years later and won the 1996 Australian Open, but she was never truly the same player and could not produce her best tennis thereafter. 

Monica Seles won nine Grand Slams before 1993
Monica Seles won nine Grand Slams before 1993

Juan Martin Del Potro 

Del Potro is one of the most naturally gifted players of the 21st century and seems destined for the Hall of Fame. 

The Argentine was the first player to ever defeat both Nadal and Federer at the same major, when he stormed to victory at the 2009 US Open. 

Sadly, he has not won a Slam since, with his career hampered by a succession of wrist and knee injuries. 

The 43-year-old has not officially retired, though he has hinted that he will bow out soon. 

Justine Henin 

Similarly to Seles, Henin had the potential to match the success of Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf and Williams. 

Between 2003 and 2007, the Belgian won seven majors and spent a total of 117 weeks as number one. 

In 2008, Henin suddenly announced her retirement, despite being number one at the time –– citing fatigue and a desire to focus on charity as the main reason. 

She returned to the sport in 2010, but a chronic elbow injury caused her to retire once more in 2011. 

Justine Henin
PARIS – JUNE 09: Justine Henin of Belgium holds the trophy after winning against Ana Ivanovic of Serbia in the Women’s Singles Final on day fourteen of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 9, 2007 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Andy Roddick 

While Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi dominated the 1990s, Roddick was the number one ranked US male for much of this century. 

Renowned for having the fastest serve in the game, Roddick was a supremely talented player on hard court and grass. 

Unfortunately, so was Federer. 

Overall, Roddick lost four Grand Slam finals to the Swiss star, though he did win the 2003 US Open.

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