The Swiss, Roger Federer dealt with a dismal defeat at Wimbledon Championships 2019 as his ninth Wimbledon title was just one shot away from him, and it was Serb, Novak Djokovic who was destined to lift his fifth grass-court major title. With an addition to his yesterday’s nervy loss at SW19, World Number three, Federer has undergone similar scenarios in his thriving career.
1. Wimbledon 2008: Failed To Defend His Sixth Straight Wimbledon Title
Wimbledon 2008 final is certainly regarded as one of the iconic matches in the tennis history. The championship match was accompanied by rain delays and the incoming of the night. The twilight-end on Centre Court was one of the poignant evenings in Federer’s career.
Federer battled back from a two-set deficit and then claimed the next two sets in tiebreakers against Rafael Nadal in the finals. He saved two championship points in the fourth set tiebreaker. The second one was saved using his backhand down line passing shot on the uncharted zone, and that shot is revered till date.
In the deciding set, Roger Federer was just two points away from claiming his sixth straight Wimbledon title and keeping his 65-match winning streak on grass intact, but with Rafa held his serve, later broke Roger’s serve in fifteenth game and then closed out the Centre Court chronicle 6-4, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-7(8), 9-7.
2. Australian Open 2009: Third Consecutive Major Loss to Rafa
Another melancholic loss for Roger Federer, which was followed by a plaintive cry during the trophy ceremony at Australian Open 2009 finals. He tried to give his speech and said, “maybe I’ll try later again I don’t know. God, it’s killing me,” and stepped aside.
His 7-5, 3-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-2 defeat to Rafa stalled Federer from equalizing Pete Sampras’ all-time record of 14 Grand Slams. It was fifth consecutive defeat for Federer against Nadal. It was their first Slam meeting outside French Open or Wimbledon, and with this loss of Federer, Nadal established a triple surface prowess over arch-rival.
3. Wimbledon 2019: Missed Match Points While Serving For His 21st Grand Slam
His recent slump to Djokovic at Wimbledon finals after battling for nearly five hours turned out to be one of the most miserable losses of his career. Roger’s 7-6(5), 1-6, 7-6(4), 4-6, 13-12(3) loss to Novak joins the list of his toughest losses ever.
The Centre Court was brimmed with Roger Federer fans, but it couldn’t cease Djokovic’s focus on the tennis ball. The Swiss had two bright chances in the fifth at 8-7 to lift his ninth Wimbledon title, but Djokovic denied him from serving out the most important game of his life.
Later, the dicey tiebreaker in the final set flipped the championship on Djokovic’s side. Roger Federer dominated in every aspect of the game, but his game loose in the tiebreakers permitted the Serb to taste victory.
4. French Open 2008: Bageled by Rafa in The Finals
The ‘King of Clay’ abased the Swiss World Number one (Federer’s ranking in June 2008) at the Roland-Garros finals. Until then, Roger Federer had played 173 Grand Slam matches, but his lopsided 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 defeat to Rafa handed his worst Grand Slam defeat ever.
The 22-year-old Mallorcan boy, Rafa crushed ‘the greatest player who ever played the game’ and post his victory he said, “Roger, I’m sorry for the final.”
5. US Open 2011: Slipped Match Points in The Semifinals Against Djokovic
It was Roger Federer who took off with a two-sets to love lead at the Flushing Meadows semifinals, but the newly crowned Wimbledon 2011 champion, Novak Djokovic roared back 6-7 (7-9), 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 to eliminate the five-time US Open champion from the tournament.
About 23,000 spectators in Arthur Ashe were chanting ‘Come on Roger!’ as Djokovic dropped his serve to love and the Swiss led by 5-3. Federer was serving for the place in the final at 40-15, but Djokovic’s incredible return and later Roger double faulting scraped off his break and later the Serb sealed his semifinal victory.
“Sure, it’s disappointing, but I have only myself to blame,” said Federer. “I set it all up perfect, but I couldn’t finish it.” It was the first time in Federer’s career since his major breakthrough, that he was ending a season without a Grand Slam title.