Roger Federer’s top five most one-sided losses

Having been at the top of the game for over a decade we’re most used to seeing Roger Federer handing out emphatic defeats rather than being on the receiving end of them. But in the Olympic final, the Swiss legend was humbled by Andy Murray. However Federer fans needn’t worry. We’ve seen him lose matches like this one before and bounce back.‘s feature writer David Cox takes a look at five of Federer’s worst defeats over the course of his career.

1. French Open final 2008 – Yet again, Federer arrived at the 2008 French Open in search of a career grand slam and once again he ran into the brick wall which is Rafael Nadal in his prime on clay. Unlike his defeats in the 2006 and 2007 finals, this was an utter humiliation for Federer. He looked sluggish, short of ideas and strangely for him, devoid of any real belief he could win as Nadal romped to a 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 win in less than two hours. Afterwards, a number of pundits declared that Federer would never win the French Open. We all know what happened a year later.

2. Miami Masters semi-finals 2011 – Nadal once again. While Federer has been able to dominate his rival indoors, Nadal enjoys the edge on almost every other surface and he wiped him off the court in the 2011 Miami semi-finals, winning 6-3, 6-2. Conditions were a little windy and Nadal always enjoys an advantage whenever that’s the case, with his high percentage tennis. Federer never really got into the match, falling behind an early break in both sets and struggling to get his usually trusty forehand working, spraying unforced errors all over the towering stadium court.

3. Shanghai Masters final – Federer outplayed Murray in the final of the 2010 Australian Open but the British player secured a modicum of revenge with a convincing 6-3, 6-2 win over the Swiss in the Shanghai final later in the year. Despite not being a naturally aggressive player, Murray has a fantastic record indoors due to his supreme counter-punching abilities and he was simply seeing the ball like a football in this one, cutting Federer to shreds with his razor-sharp returns and passing shots.

4. Wimbledon first round 2002 – It’s easy to forget that Federer hasn’t always been a multiple Grand Slam champion. Back in 2002 he was beginning to be regarded as something of an underachiever, a man capable of producing scintillating tennis in the Masters Series events but lacking in substance when it came to the slams. After ending Pete Sampras’ five year unbeaten run at SW19 in 2001, Federer arrived at Wimbledon 2002 as a dark horse for the title but the then unknown Mario Ancic handed him a grass-court lesson, stunning the Centre Court crowd as he served his way to a 6-3, 7-6(2), 6-3 win.

5. Sydney Olympics semi-finals – Federer arrived at the 2000 Sydney Olympics as a 19 year old with low expectations, determined just to enjoy the unique experience. However his draw opened up after a flurry of early exits and the teenager found himself in the semi-finals against a young German called Tommy Haas. A few years his senior, Haas had been showcasing his potential since he first broke onto the tour back in 1997 and back then many rated him far more highly than Federer. Haas lived up to his billing, outplaying a visibly nervous Federer 6-3, 6-2 to secure a place in the Olympic final. Federer went on to lose the bronze medal playoff to French journeyman Arnaud Di Pasquale and left the venue in tears.