When the player many believe to be the greatest of all time walked onto centrecourt at Rod Laver Arena in the Australian Open quarterfinals, it was histhousandth singles appearance on the professional tour, his 31
consecutiveGrand Slam quarter-final, and this player was in search of his 2000
set. As AndyRoddick once said to his long-time nemesis, but for whose existence the American
would have won three Wimbledon titles rather than none, “I’d love to hate you,but you’re really nice.” Firstly, X took just 24 matches to crack the legendarilydifficult transition into the world’s top 100. Somewhat bizarrely, only eight of
them were wins.Which player?