Roger Federer has reached a record 31 Grand Slam finals. Out of which he has reached 12 Wimbledon finals, 7 Australian Open and US Open finals each, and 5 French Open finals. In his illustrious career, he has easily dominated at the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and US Open, but the French Open has been a tough ride. He has won just a single French Open title and lost four finals.
Roger Federer reaches first French Open final in dominant 2006 season
Federer reached his first French Open final in 2006. It was incidentally the first of the nine Grand Slam finals against Rafael Nadal. The 2006 season was one of the most dominant seasons in tennis history. Federer reached all four Grand Slam finals, winning three of them. And he finished the season with a win-loss record of 92-5.
So with Federer in such a dominant form, it was certain that he would dispatch the 20-year-old Nadal at the French Open. But that was not the case. Federer was outplayed convincingly and was denied a Career Slam and a Calendar Slam by his fiercest rival.
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Federer second successive French Open final defeat in 2007
In 2007, Federer wasn’t as dominant as he was in 2006, but he again reached all Grand Slam finals. Yet again he won three slams and lost the final at the French Open. On his way towards the Calendar Slam and Career Slam came yet again, Rafa Nadal.
It was almost a repeat of the 2006 French Open final. Federer never looked like beating Nadal. He was outsmarted in four sets and denied a French Open title for the second time in a row. It was now being understood that Federer’s dominance might be coming to an end.
Roger Federer suffers his worst Grand Slam final defeat at French Open 2008
A third successive French Open final for Federer came in 2008. Now Federer’s season wasn’t spectacular. He reached three Grand Slam finals, winning only one.
2008 was one of Federer’s worst years on tour. For the third successive year, he played Rafa Nadal in the French Open final. But this time it was a humiliation. The final just lasted over 100 mins and Federer was thrashed 6-1,6-3,6-0. It was one of the most one-sided Grand Slam finals in history. Adding to this, Federer also lost his Wimbledon crown to Nadal in 2008. The saving grace that year was the US Open triumph.
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Federer finally completes the Career Grand Slam at French Open 2009
Things were turning a bit desperate in the Federer camp. It was now looking like Federer might end his career without achieving the Career Grand Slam. Federer reached his fourth successive French Open final in 2009. And this time it was a turnaround.
Federer finally won the elusive French Open title in 2009. This time Nadal didn’t come in his way. Federer played Rafa Nadal’s conqueror, Robin Soderling in the final. Soderling had unexpectedly defeated Rafa Nadal in the quarterfinal. Federer played Soderling and easily won against him to complete the coveted Career Slam. This Grand Slam triumph was also important as Federer leveled Pete Sampras’ record Grand Slam tally of 14.
Roger Federer’s last French Open final in 2011
Federer’s French Open final streak was halted in 2010. But he returned to the French Open final in 2011. This time the Swiss Master was looking to finally end his Nadal jinx at the French Open final. But yet again he was thwarted in the final in four sets. Another milestone was on the horizon for Federer. He was chasing to become the first player to complete the double Career Grand Slam. But Federer just hasn’t been able to get the better of Nadal at the French Open.