Rarely does a loss end with a smile.
But Peter Polansky made tennis history on Friday, earning his fourth consecutive lucky-loser spot in the main draw of a major to become the first player to complete the previously unheard of “calendar-year lucky loser Grand Slam.”
Lucky losers are players who lose in the final round of qualifying but get a spot in the main tournament when one of the main-draw players pulls out of the competition between when the draw is completed and the first matches are played.
No player has earned three lucky-loser spots at majors in the same year nor three in a row at the Grand Slam level. But Polansky shattered that trend with four in a row, starting at the Australian Open in January and culminating Friday in New York.
Despite losing to Donald Young of the U.S., 7-5, 1-6, 6-3, on Court 11 on Friday, the Canadian got lucky once again two hours after his match finished when his name was randomly drawn from a list of the 16 players.
Polansky lost in the first round of the other three majors this year—to Karen Khachanov in Melbourne, Pierre-Hughes Herbert in Paris and Dennis Novak in London—but he’ll look to go one better this year in New York, where he reached the second round in 2010 in his best Grand Slam performance.
However, the 30-year-old right-hander will have his work cut out for him, when he squares off against No. 4 seed Alexander Zverev on Tuesday.