Well, here is a synopsis of the players win-loss records for 2005. 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 and there are plenty of awards to hand out.
of the year
At the ATP level, the busiest player of the year is Rafael Nadal. He played in 87 matches with a record of 77-10 while Roger Federer was next and played 84. Nadal played two Davis Cup matches as well for 89 total and Federer played 1 so when you take into account Davis Cup action, Nikolay Davydenko moves up with 86 matches played while Guillermo Coria comes in with 82 and Ivan Ljubicic with 81.
Overall, there was a rare tie as the only two players to play over 100 matches were tied with 104 matches on the year. Both, Gorka Fraile and Pablo Andujar, are Spaniards and they get our Busiest Players of the Year awards. After Gilles Simon stopped a three-year streak last year in which a Spaniard has been atop this category, Fraile and Andujar get it right back. Juan Antonio Marin of Costa Rica and Matthew Smith of Great Britain come in next with 99 matches in 2005.
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. Benjamin Kohlloeffel did not fall into that category...he played in only one event in 2005, qualified and won it. But on to the top players, last year Roger Federer won this award with a 74-6 record. Its hard to imagine improving on that but how about 81-4 in 2005! That almost edged John McEnroe as the best single season record in the history of the ATP. Johan Settergren finished with a 16-2 record then its Nadal coming in at 79-10.
There have been technically 51 weeks on the tour this year. Note that Davis Cup weeks count and satellite weeks count as one for each week. Our Most Tournaments Played award goes to Oliver Marach of Austria, just edging Razvan Sabau of Romania from defending his title in this category last year. Marach played in 41 tournaments this year while Sabau played in 40 after playing 41 last year. Joining Sabau with 40 is Matthew Smith who was also among the leaders is most matches played. In with 39 events on the year is Hector Ruiz of Spain.
Time to Get a
Day Job Awards
Yes, its the 16th annual "Time to Get a Day Job" awards. 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.
"Greatest Effort, Least Reward" Award
There are 1800 or so players in the rankings but nearly 8000 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 lot of matches and not making the rankings is quite an accomplishment! Our winner this year for the fifth year in a row is a player from Spain, getting it done mainly on the Spanish satellite/futures tour. He is David Serrano who played in 57 matches in 2005, compiling a record of 29-28, and still never managed to earn so much as one ranking point. David was in the rankings and had 4 points back in late 2004, but a ranking point proved elusive in 2005. Next up was Catalin Ciobanu of Romania who played in 48 matches with a 25-23 record but never saw the rankings list. Sergio Bruni of Brazil got in 47 matches while Tom Dennhardt of Germany played in 45.
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. Jun-Chao Xu of China wins the award this year. He won 18 of the 26 matches he played yet did not get far enough to earn points. American Rahman Smiley was 19-9 and Adam Hubble of Australia was 19-10 but they got all their wins in qualifying.
"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 to fall 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 year the top 3 are all from Great Britain. Top honors are shared by Charlie Crisp and Adam Lownsbrough who were a perfect 0 for 18. In third place is Robert Dee also from Great Britain who went 0 for 15. Lownsbrough was the more interesting case, getting double bageled 5 times, including 7 love sets lost in a row, retiring during matches an additional 4 times and winning a total of 28 games combined in his 18 matches. Robert Dee also managed to lose every set but avoided the double goose eggs. Our old favorite in this category, Diego Beltranena did not disappoint...he went 0-7 to run his career record to 0-53. Diego has not played so far in 2006 so its feared he may have retired. Adam Lownsbrough's career record is currently 0-36 so he may be a contender but still has a ways to go. Other "o-fer's" in 2005 were Joao de Nes 0-13 and Yu Takahashi and Enrico Becuzzi at 0-12.
Now its time to find out who had the longest streaks of the year. The longest win streak goes to none other than the world's #1 Roger Federer. As we've documented, Roger only lost 4 matches all year so its stands to reason he had some long streaks in there. The started the year with 10, then went on a 25 match win streak, which, itself would have put him second, then it was onto an 11 match streak and finally an amazing 35 match win streak to close out the year before losing the finals of the Masters Cup. That streak of 35 marks the longest win streak since I've been doing these year end records, and this one was against the very best players in the world! This may very well be known as "the streak" unless Roger can somehow top it this year. It started after his semifinal loss to Rafael Nadal at the French Open. There's no stopping Roger on grass so he won Halle and Wimbledon, then it was onto the hard court season where he only played two events and won them (Cincinnati and the US Open). Then after a complete white wash of Alan Mackin in Davis Cup (6-0 6-0 6-2!) it was onto Bangkok for his fifth title in a row and finally reaching the finals of the Masters Cup in Shanghai before losing in a fifth set tie break to David Nalbandian to snap the streak at 35.
There were some other good streaks as well, including Michal Navratil returning from injury in which he lost his ranking completely. He didn't play from June 2004 until May of 2005. Playing futures he did well on his comeback, winning 10 of his first 15 matches. Then he went to Egypt to play in a satellite and earned what's known as a satellite slam...winning all four legs and going a perfect 19-0. He followed that up with a win in Poland F8 before losing in the qualifying round of the Szczecin challenger to snap the streak at 26. Other long streaks belonged to Rafael Nadal (24), Ilija Bozoljac (20), and Peter Clarke (19).
Here is the top streaks of the year
Of course, if we are going to look at the longest win streaks, we might as well look at the longest losing streaks, too. Although our top two 0-for-2005 players, Charlie Crisp and Adam Lownsbrough were near the top at 18 in a row, its Josh Olivas (USA) who for the second year in a row staged a 19 match losing streak. He came off last year with a 0-19 record and lost he last 5 matches of 2003 making a total of 43 in a row before snapping it this year against Adrian Valdez of Mexico at Mexico F10. It was Josh's only win of the year, finishing 1-25 including 7 double bagels. Matias Alberti (ARG) lost 17 in a row while Lovro Zovko (CRO) went down 16 times in a row.
"Nine Lives" Award
This goes to the player who got in the most times as a lucky loser. Usually the most a player has been a lucky loser in one year is 3 or 4, but in 2005 Alexei Filenkov of Russia managed to get a second life 6 times. Alexei's secret was to play in places that are hard to reach so lots of players don't show up. That leads to lots of lucky losers making to the main draw. His lucky loser appearances came from tournaments in Lebanon, Iran, Ukraine, and South Africa. Alan Mackin (GBR) reached the main draw after a qualifying loss 5 times while David Diaz-Ventura (ESP) and Arkady Bassetti (ITA) did it 4 times.
Master Blaster Award
In 2005 there were a total of 929 cases where one player won by the 'ol "double bagel" (defeating his opponent 6-0 6-0). 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 Andy Roddick on hardcourts but still its an accomplishment worth mentioning. This year the award is goes solely to El Salvadorian Rafael Arevalo. Arevalo knocked off an opponent 6 times by a score of 6-0 6-0. Algeria's Slimane Saoudi did it 5 times and 21 players did it 3 times.
We've already seen our flip side of this award. That goes to Josh Olivas with his 7 double bagel losses. Jonathan Susmosas (ESP) and Victor Suski (USA) lost 6 times by the 6-0 6-0 score and Adam Lownsbrough and Tapabrata Neogi (IND) did it 5 times.
The "Nah, I Just Don't Feel Like It" Award
Next we have the "Nah, I Just Don't Feel Like It" Award, given to those players who had a habit of retiring during matches. This year the award is shared by Dmitry Ivanov (UZB) and Ladislav Chramosta (CZE). They each retired during matches 7 times in 2005. Two more than anyone else. Ivanov gets the nod because when you take into account walkovers, Ivanov had one of those as well. There were 10 players in all who retired 5 times. Of course, this is not to say these players didn't have legitimate injuries when they decided not to go on.
On the flip side is the Free Ride Award for players who had the good fortune of having their opponents make it easy on them by retiring. The winner was also our Busiest Player award winner, Gorka Fraile (ESP) whose opponent retired on him a whopping 8 times! Was he just lucky or does his style of play push his opponents past the breaking point? Next on the list with 6 victories by retirement is Juan Martin del Potro (ARG). Novak Djokovic (SCG), Gabriel Moraru (ROM), and Alessandro Piccari (ITA) each got 5 passes. When you add walkovers to the list, Germany's Benjamin Ebrahimzadeh enters with 6 wins by retirement or walkover.
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.