Schuettler’s farewell

Australian Open 2003 – it’s a tournament which defines Rainer Schuettler’s [845] status in tennis history. The German unexpectedly reached the final; Marat Safin helped him a bit withdrawing from their third round encounter, but it would be unfair to say Schüttler was a runner-up by a fluke because he had beaten David Nalbandian and And Roddick in back-to-back matches. “During the two weeks, I didn’t think too much,” Schuettler recalled. “I was playing match-by-match, I was schuettler_ao03trying to go on court and play as well as I can. One memory that stands out is when I won match point in the semi-finals against Andy Roddick. I felt how cleanly I hit the backhand down the line to win the match. It was unbelievable during the night session, the stadium was full. The spectators were on their feet for a standing ovation.” The backhand was his best shot, he based his game on great physical fitness being a typical grinder with a never-say-die attitude. He announced his retirement in October, but the last match had played ten months before: “I played my last match in January and due to a groin injury and fitness problems I have decided to retire. I would have liked to have played in the London Olympics at Wimbledon this summer, but I will now concentrate on future projects.” Besides the Australian Open final, he enjoyed two other highlights in his 17-year career: doubles final at the Olympic games in 2004 where he squandered a quadruple match point alongside Nicolas Kiefer and Wimbledon semifinal ’08; that year he seemed finished (ranked 94 entering the tournament; having suffered the longest losing streak at the main level in 2008) but his risky game paid off – he won five matches (like at the Australian Open ’03) including a quarterfinal marathon with Arnaud Clement in which he saved a match point.

Curiosities:
* won a match with the most match points saved (10) in the XXI Century by far – beating Andreas Seppi 3-6 7-6(13) 6-0 in Kitzbuhel ’04; two months later lost to Seppi from a match point up at the US Open
* was involved in 1 out of 5 more than 5-hour matches at Wimbledon as he defeated Arnaud Clement
* in 2009, within a week was bageled four times (!); in Düsseldorf lost to Robin Soderling (0-6 0-6) and a few days later in Paris to Marc Gicquel (0-6 0-6 4-6); he suffered a double-bagel loss also in 1998 to Jan-Michael Gambill
* 3-0 record with Andy Roddick in 2003 – the year in which Roddick was the best in the world
* lost 337 matches at the main level (only six players lost more in the Open era)
Rainer Schuettler in numbers (singles):
4 titles (6 Challengers), 8 finals (8 CH):
Titles:
97 – Eckental
98 – Portroz
99 – Doha (19)
00 – Aachen
01 – Shanghai (100)
03 – Tokyo Outdoor (157), Lyon (158)
06 – Aachen
07 – Kuala Lumpur
11 – Astana
Finals:
99 – Chennai; 00 – Doha; 01 – Hong Kong, St. Petersburg; 02 – Munich;
03 – AUSTRALIAN OPEN, Costa Do Sauipe; 04 – Monte Carlo
Best Grand Slam results:
Australian Open (finalist 2003)
Wimbledon (semifinalist 2008)
# Semifinalist at the year-end championships (2003)
Highest ranking: 5 (26.04.2004)
Ranking in years 1994-2011:
772 – 451 – 329 – 123 – 111 – 48 – 45 – 43 – 33 – 6 – 42 – 88 – 97 – 99 – 33 – 85 – 84 – 132.
Win/loss record:
main level: 327/337 (.492)
all levels: 513/457 (.528)
327 tournaments (years 1995-2011)
5-setters: 8-7 (.533)
Tie-breaks: 118-130 (.476)
– deciding 3rd set tie-breaks: 11-13 (.458)
m.p. matches: 4-3 (.571)
Longest winning streak: 10 [2003]
Longest losing streak: 8 [2008]
Longest win: 5 hours 12 min. Arnaud Clement 6-3, 5-7, 7-6, 6-7, 8-6 – Wimbledon 2008
Longest defeat: 3 hours 51 min. Ramon Delgado 4-6, 7-6, 6-7, 6-2, 2-6 – US Open 2001
Longest tie-break won: Andreas Seppi 3-6, 7-6(13), 6-0 – Kitzbuhel 2004
Longest tie-break lost: Mikhail Youzhny 6-3, 6-7(12), 6-4 – Tokyo 2008
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One Response to Schuettler’s farewell

  1. Voo de Mar says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6GglrLepOk – unbelievable tie-break in which Germans wasted four gold-medal points in a row, Schuettler had a relatively easy FH-volley on the fourth chance that should have finished the job

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