Well, here is a synopsis of the players win-loss records for 2001. This includes match records from all ATP tournaments, challengers, futures, satellites, and their qualifying, plus Davis Cup. Of course, winning qualifying matches in satellites is not quite the same as playing in grand slams, but its still interesting to look at. So its time to hand out some awards!
of the year
At the ATP level, the busiest player of the year was Lleyton Hewitt who played 94 matches. Yevgeny Kafelnikov (you knew he had to be in there somewhere) was one behind with 93. Guillermo Canas was next with 90. These figures include Davis Cup play.
Overall, it was Spain's Mariano Albert keeping pace with being the leader at the half-way mark. He played in an amazing 109 matches, amassing a record of 77-32. He gets our Busiest Player of the Year award. Adrian Cruciat of Romania was just one off that pace at 108. They got much of their playing time in those Spanish satellites. Mario Radic was also in the hunt, playing 107 matches in 2001. Also in triple digits was Frenchman Gregory Carraz, who played 102 matches.
Overall, there were a few players who were technically undefeated, but they either withdrew before losing or got their success in Davis Cup against significantly weaker competition. We will focus on the ranked players. It should be no surprise that the highest winning percentage was earned by none other than our #1, Lleyton Hewitt, with a winning percentage of .830. He's at the top of the ATP list as well. He compiled a record of 71-15 in 2001, 78-16 if you include Davis Cup. Gustavo Kuerten is next with 60-18 record, followed by Andre Agassi at 45-15. And, surprise, those three happen to be the top 3 ranked players of the year.
An honorable mention must go out to Spanish veteran Tati Rascon. Rascon played in only two events the entire year, Spain F13 and Spain F14. He won them both! That gives him a perfect 10-0 record in 2001. I think we will call this the Bojan Vujic award! ;-) Rolandas Murashka from Lithuania also had a very successful year record-wise. He went 15-2 in 2001, including a title in Estonia F1, the semifinals in Latvia F1, but a disappointing quarterfinals effort in his home country at Lithuania F1. Add to that a perfect 5-0 Davis Cup record and you have a winning percentage of nearly 90%.
There have been technically 49 weeks on the tour this year. Our Most Tournaments Played award is a tie going to both Markus Hantschk and Andrei Stoliarov who played in 40 events each in 2001. Then you have the Spanish satellite bunch, including Carlos Rexach-Itoiz and Carlos Hernandez. Rexach-Itoiz played in 38 events while Hernandez was one behind with 37. Also at 37 were Kevin Kim and Tomas Zib. This sounds like a lot but in most cases these guys are suffering lots of first round defeats. For instance, in spite of 40 tournaments, Hantschk played in 67 matches, far less than the 109 offered up by Mariano Albert. Hantschk's 2001 record was 27-40.
Time to Get
a Day Job Awards
Yes, its the 12th annual "Time to Get a Day Job" awards. This year they have been moved among the other year-end awards, but with its history, this is a prestigious award that stands alone. This is just for ATP level events (main draws). It "honors" those players who have lost the most times in the very first round (or second round if they got a first round bye). Find out who gets the honors this year.
Least Reward" Award
There are 1600 or so players in the rankings but over 6800 that played matches last year. That's a lot of players that play and don't get ranked. At the bottom of the heap, players can play a good number of matches and yet never make the rankings. Any player who wins a first round match in the main draw of a futures event, plays in the masters leg of a satellite, or plays in the main draw of any challenger or ATP-level tournament, will find himself in the rankings. So having a winning record and not making the rankings is quite an accomplishment! Our winner this year is Carles Poch who feasted on those Spanish satellites to a 29-23 record. That's 52 matches played in 2001, which rivals that of some top players, yet after all that Carles didn't find his way onto the rankings. Miguel Olaso, another Spaniard, and Alex Vargas, yet another Spaniard, followed with 51 matches each. Our first non-Spaniard was Steven Bijl, who racked up 48 matches without a ranking. 48 was also the number attained by Aeron Martinovic and Gabriel Montilla. Although, early in 2002 it seems Montilla, one of the few but growing number of players from Puerto Rico, will finally break through at the Central America satellite and get on the rankings map.
Our closely related "Most Success, Least Reward" Award goes to the player who had the best winning percentage (with a sufficient number of matches) without earning a ranking. That went to Mariano Campos of Mexico who went 15-6 on the year. He played in only a few events in Mexico and Cuba in February and March but qualified every time but once only to lose in the first round of qualifying. With a few more matches was German Lopez (those Spanish satellites again), who compiled a record of 23-11 for a win-loss percentage of .676. Closely following Lopez, was American Ryan Heinberg. Despite his 16-8 record, Ryan only qualified once for the main draw in 8 attempts in US futures. Rounding out the top 5 were Spaniards Oriol Pages and the afore mentioned Miguel Olaso. For all their wins, none of these guys got so much as one lousy ATP point.
"Most Futile Effort" Award
This is much like the "Time To Get a Day Job" Awards. Those were at the ATP level so at least players have a chance at falling back to a lower level to gather themselves and get going again. But let's look at the players with the worst records of the year at all levels. This award goes to Josh Olivas of the United States. Olivas went a perfect 0-14 in 2001! He played in 13 US futures events plus a challenger and lost in his first match each time. Claudio Rizzo of Italy was close at 0-13, while Marco di Vuolo, Ricardo Jordan, Byron Kidd, and Dennis Peschek all went 0-12. Our perennial favorite in this category is Ilyar Khammadov, who did not disappoint, perfect once again in 2001 at 0-9. An honorable mention goes to Andre Santos of Brazil who went 1-24 on the year!
Something new this year I have added is longest wining and losing streaks of the year. The longest win streak of the year was 23 by Marc Gicquel. Gicquel accomplished this with a rare "satellite slam," winning all four legs of the Portugal #2 satellite (that's 19 wins) and a few months later reached the finals in France F15 for 23 wins in a row. Oliver Marach was next on the list with 21 in a row. Oliver's path was also through the satellites, winning the masters leg of the Central America satellite followed by the first three legs of the India #1 satellite before finally getting stopped in the semifinals of the masters leg in India.
Among the top players (obviously much more of an accoplishment), the longest win-streak goes to Lleyton Hewitt with 17. Hewitt's streak started with the US Open, continued through two Davis Cup matches, proceeded through another title in Tokyo, and finally stopped in the semifinals of Stuttgart. Hewitt also had an additional 13 match win streak during the grass court season. Juan Carlos Ferrero had a 16 match win streak during the clay court season. He took the titles in Barcelona and Rome before going down in the finals in Hamburg.
Of course, if we are going to look at the longest win streaks, we might as well look at the longest losing streaks, too. At the top is Andre Santos of Brazil. As we saw above, Andre went 1-24 on the year but 21 of them were consecutive. Kevin Rubink of the US was next with 17 in a row. Next comes several players with 14 including Josh Olivas who we know lost all 14 of his matches.
"Nine Lives" Award
This goes to the player who got in the most times as a lucky loser. That goes to Alberto Francis of USA. Francis reached the main draw after losing in qualifying 5 times. He stands alone in this honor. At 4 lucky loser entries is Dominic Boulet, Viktor Bruthans, Ryan Sachire, and Nenad Toroman.
Master Blaster Award
Believe it or not, there were a total of 614 instances of one player beating another by the score of 6-0 6-0. In other words, there were 614 "double bagels" in 2001. The "Master Blaster" award goes to the player who gets the most double bagels. Of course defeating an unranked local in the qualifying of a futures event 6-0 6-0 is nowhere near doing the same to Gustavo Kuerten on clay, but still its an accomplishment worth mentioning. There are four players who got double bagels on 4 different occasions in 2001. They are Mariano Albert, Rafael Moreno-Negrin, and Bobby Kokavec. But a special mention has to be made for Todd Woodbridge who was the only player to triple bagel an opponent, going through Johan Ortegren in the final round of Wimbledon qualifying.
On the flip side is poor Raymond Benc of the Philippines who got pasted 6 different times by his opponents, including his first 4 matches of the year. Oddly, in the Portugal #1 satellite he turned the tables and double bageled an opponent and scored another 6-0 6-1 win. He also lost once by a score of 6-1 6-0 and one other time by 6-0 6-2. He only played in 9 matches on the year and in all but one there was at least one set that went 6-0. I guess for Benc, its all or nothing!
Well, that's it for this year's awards. Feel free to peruse through the win-loss records on the year. Check out everyone's match records here.