World No. 119 Peter Polansky completes 'Lucky Loser' grand slam

In the history of tennis, eight men have completed the career grand slam of winning all four tennis majors....

Posted: Aug 28, 2018 8:51 PM
Updated: Aug 28, 2018 8:51 PM

In the history of tennis, eight men have completed the career grand slam of winning all four tennis majors.

But Peter Polansky, the world No. 119 from Canada, is the only one to have completed a so-called "lucky loser" grand slam in the same calendar year.

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After losing in the third round of qualifying at the US Open to American Donald Young, Polansky hit the jackpot when there was a withdrawal from the 128-player main draw, and the Canadian was randomly selected from a list of 16 players as a replacement.

"I think it's actually quite an accomplishment," Polansky, 30, told Canadian broadcaster The Sports Network (TSN), shortly after earning a historic fourth straight "lucky loser" spot in a major.

READ: Nadal's new opponent at the US Open: 25-second shot clock

'Lot of factors come into play'

"I'm not sure if it's going to happen again," added Polansky. "Just the fact getting in four times in a row as a lucky loser -- like none of the greats are going to be able to do it because they are consistently in the main draw. It is a tough thing to do -- just to go through qualifiers and lose every single time in the last round.

"You've got to win your two matches -- and then not only that you have to get lucky with the draw -- someone needs to pull out of the tournament and you have got to get picked, ranked high enough.

"So, there's a lot of factors that come into play," added Polansky, who is guaranteed $54,000 for reaching the first round of the main draw. He had earned $281,798 so far this year, and $1.3 million in his 11-year career.

Polansky's luck may also be linked to a rule change at the majors this year: Players who withdraw before their first-round match still receive half of the prize money, with the other half going to the lucky loser. The rule was introduced to reduce a spate of injury-related retirements in the early rounds of the grand slam events.

Earlier this year at Roland Garros, world No. 190 Marco Trungelliti of Argentina lit up social media when he took his family, including his 88-year-old grandmother, on a 1,000 kilometer road trip from Spain to France when a lucky loser spot opened up for him following a last-minute withdrawal by Australia's Nick Kyrgios from Roland-Garros.

READ: French Open lucky loser Marco Trungelliti hits jackpot after marathon journey

Sleepwalking incident

Until now, Polansky was probably best known for overcoming a fall through a glass window in Mexico City while sleepwalking.

Although he didn't break any bones, he was in a wheelchair for two months to recover from life-threatening injuries, which included a cut in his left calf that missed a main artery by millimeters and needed 400 stitches.

Soon after it became clear he had reached the main draw in New York, Polansky posted a picture of The Joker in the movie "Dark Night", portrayed by the late actor Heath Ledger, on his Twitter feed.

But his luck may be about to run out as he faces world No. 4 Alexander Zverev in the first round.

Visit cnn.com/tennis for more news and videos

"If I execute very, very well, I'll be able to win some sets, or the match," said Polansky, who has never played the big-hitting German before and has never advanced beyond the second round of a major in nine previous appearances.

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