Yesterday in Moscow, Teymuraz Gabashvili played his 16th career tour-level quarterfinal. Facing 118th-ranked Evgeny Donskoy, it was his best chance yet to reach an ATP semifinal, but just as in each of his previous 15 attempts, he lost.
No other player has contested so many tour-level quarterfinals without ever winning one. But while the streak of 16 consecutive quarterfinal losses is a rarity, it’s not a record. The all-time mark belongs to Gianluca Pozzi, who dropped 18 in a row between 1993 and 2000. Pozzi’s record, depressing as that streak is, might be an inspiration to Gabashvili: At age 35, Pozzi finally broke the streak, defeating Marat Safin, one of the best players he ever faced in a quarterfinal.
Gabashvili and Pozzi are among only twelve players who have strung together more than 10 quarterfinal losses at tour level. Here’s the complete list, including the dates of the first and last loss in each streak:
Player QFs L Streak Start End Gianluca Pozzi 18 19930104 20000501 Teymuraz Gabashvili 16 20070219 * Paul Annacone 14 19860127 19880704 Ivan Molina 12 19751110 19791105 Mischa Zverev 11 20060925 20090713 Diego Perez 11 19861124 19920810 Anand Amritraj 11 19750304 19810706 Dennis Ralston 11 19701101 19800602 Bob Carmichael 11 19720918 19751231 Ricardas Berankis 10 20120917 * Yen Hsun Lu 10 20070219 20130923 Mikhail Youzhny 10 20041101 20060130
Ricardas Berankis is the only other player on this list to have an active streak, and since he’s five years younger than Gabashvili, another few years of mild success and quarterfinal futility could put him in the running for the all-time record. Alas, neither player is likely to repeat the post-streak success of Mikhail Youzhny, who went on to play 63 more tour-level quarterfinals, winning 33 of them.
If there’s a silver lining for Gabashvili, it’s that he’s reached all of those quarterfinals, sparing himself the fate of Rolf Thung, a Dutch player from the 1970s who reached the round of 16 at 18 tour events and lost them all.