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Shark Bites


Tsonga© Getty ImagesJo-Wilfried Tsonga added his name to the list of surprise Australian Open finalists in 2008.

ATP stats and information guru Greg Sharko looks at the numbers behind the stories of the ATP World Tour in his regular column.

BREAKTHROUGH DOWN UNDER – Since 1999 at the Australian Open, seven players, including three in the past four years, have reached their first and only Grand Slam final in Melbourne. Here’s a look at the players who made their breakthroughs at the Australian Open and how they have fared since:

Year First-time Finalist Results Next Best Grand Slam
2008 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga l. to Djokovic QF - 2009 Aust. Open
2007 Fernando Gonzalez l. to Federer SF - 2009 Roland Garrros
2006 Marcos Baghdatis l. to Federer SF - 2006 Wimbledon
2003 Rainer Schuettler l. to Agassi SF - 2008 Wimbledon
2002 Thomas Johansson d. Safin SF - 2005 Wimbledon
2001 Arnaud Clement l. to Agassi QF - 2008 Wimbledon
1999 Thomas Enqvist l. to Kafelnikov QF - 2001 Wimbledon

CONSECUTIVE TITLES WON STREAKAndy Roddick captured an ATP World Tour title for the 10th consecutive year by winning in his Brisbane debut. The American has the longest title streak among active players on the ATP World Tour. Five-time ATP World Tour Champion Roger Federer has won a title for nine straight years going into 2010. Roddick is one of 13 players to win a title for 10 or more consecutive years in the Open Era (since 1968):

Player No. Years
Ivan Lendl 14 1980-93
Jimmy Connors 13 1972-84
Boris Becker 12 1985-96
Stefan Edberg 12 1984-95
Michael Chang 11 1988-98
Vitas Gerulaitis 11 1974-84
Brian Gottfried 11 1973-83
Pete Sampras 11 1990-2000
Guillermo Vilas 11 1973-83
Andy Roddick 10 2001-2010
Lleyton Hewitt 10 1998-2007
Andre Agassi 10 1987-96
Ilie Nastase 10 1969-1978

BEATING ROGER & RAFA Nikolay Davydenko became the second player to beat Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the same tournament on two different occasions when he defeated the Swiss and Spaniard in back-to-back rounds in Doha. The Russian also beat both players at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London last November. Here's a look at the players to beat the two superstars in the same tournament:

2007 Montreal Novak Djokovic d. No. 2 Nadal (SF),
    No. 1 Federer (F)
2007 Madrid David Nalbandian d. No. 2 Nadal (QF),
    No. 1 Federer (F)
2007 Paris David Nalbandian d. No. 1 Federer (3rd),
    No. 2 Nadal (F)
2009 US Open Juan Martin del Potro d. No. 3 Nadal (SF),
    No. 1 Federer (F)
2009 London* Nikolay Davydenko d. No. 2 Nadal (RR),
    No. 1 Federer (SF)
2010 Doha Nikolay Davydenko d. No. 1 Federer (SF),
    No. 2 Nadal (F)
* Barclays ATP World Tour Finals

ONE FINAL MAGIC ACT Fabrice Santoro is expected to play in a Grand Slam tournament in a fourth decade at the Australian Open. Santoro, who has been dubbed “The Magician,” for his on-court artistry, will be taking part in his 70th career Grand Slam tournament. Here are the players with the most Grand Slam tournaments played in the Open Era:  

  Player No.
1 Fabrice Santoro 69
2 Andre Agassi 61
3 Jonas Bjorkman 58
4 Michael Chang 57
  Jimmy Connors 57
  Wayne Ferreira 57
  Ivan Lendl 57
8 Mark Woodforde 55
9 Stefan Edberg 54
10 John Alexander 53

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