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All 10 comebacks from two sets down by Roger Federer

Rajdeep Puri
FEATURED WRITER
Top 5 / Top 10
17.70K   //    03 Oct 2014, 16:34 IST

Roger Federer – An incredible ChampionRoger Federer is probably one of the best players to ever take the court. With a record 17 Grand Slams and at the age of 33 he is still very much in the game and is hungry for more. Over the years he has amazed us with his scintillating shots, precise serves, and sharp volleys, and with the pace he moves around the court and with the sheer ease  and composed body with which he has been able to win his matches.There have been times during a match where he has found himself in sticky situations and staring at defeat, being 2 sets down to his opponent. But he battled against the odds, fought valiantly and turned those matches on its head and went on to win. Here is a list of the 10 times Roger Federer has won after being 2 sets down. Note: Videos were not available for the first 2 matches. 

#1 US Open 2000 1st round against Peter Wessels

Federer hanged in there to close out the match

Roger Federer moved on from junior to senior tennis towards the end of the 1998 season, and it was as early as 2000 that the whole world got a glimpse of what he was made of. In the first round of only his 2nd senior US Open, Roger was up against Peter Wessels from the Netherlands who was seeded 93 as to Federer’s 36. Wessels took a 2 set lead winning 6-4 in both the first and the second set. The Dutchman thought that it was going to be an easy day for him, but the young Federer had different plans for him as he battled his way through and won the next 2 sets 6-3, 7-5. Wessels got injured towards the end of the 4th set, and as the 5th set was going on serve, with Federer serving at 3-4, Wessels couldn’t handle his injury and he retired, which led to Roger Federer winning the match. It might not have been as unique as the other 5 set victories because of Wessel’s injury, but nonetheless, it was a nice way for Roger to announce himself to the world.

Final Score – Roger Federer def. Peter Wessels 4-6,4-6, 6-3,7-5, 3-4 (ret.)

#2 French Open 2001 2nd round against Sargis Sargsian

A tough fifth set did not deter Federer

2001 started off well for Roger Federer, who was aged 19 at the time. He had won the Harry Hopman Cup, the Milan Indoors and had reached the doubles finals of the ABN Amro World Tennis Championship before entering the French Open. Seeded No. 18 he was the firm favourite against Sargis Sargsian, the man from Armenia who was seeded 102. Federer thought that it would be a walk in the park for him, but, surprisingly he found himself down 2 sets to the Armenian. He was staring at defeat, but he came back to win the 3rd and the 4th set 6-2, 6-4. The 5th set went down to the wire, Sarsgsianwith Federer finally being able to break the Armenian’s serve in the 15th game, winning the final set 9-7.

Final Score – Roger Federer def S Sargsian 4-6,3-6,6-2,6-4,9-7

#3 2005 Nasdaq 100 Open Final against Rafael Nadal

The second match of a great rivalry

This was just the second final, between Roger Federer and his greatest rival, Rafael Nadal, who have faced each other 33 times now on all possible surfaces. Their rivalry started in 2004, where Federer got a taste of Nadal’s brilliance in Miami, where he lost to him 3-6, 3-6. This second final meeting of theirs was again in Miami, for the finals of the Nasdaq – 100 Open. Federer had already become the World no. 1 and was up against 18-year-old Nadal, who was looking to make it big. The ghosts of the 2004 loss to Nadal in Miami came back to haunt Federer as he lost the first 2 sets 2-6,6-7(4). The 3rd set had reached the tie-break, and it looked like Nadal would wrap up the match in straight sets, but Roger battled hard and fought back to win the 3rd set 7-6(5). That set gave back his confidence as he easily won the 4th and 5th set 6-3,6-1, to win the match. This was the start of one of the greatest rivalries of all time. 

 
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#4 Australian Open 2009 Fourth Round against Tomas Berdych

Federer looked composed in the final three sets

Roger Federer entered 2009 winning only one Grand Slam in 2008, and after his 5-year streak of being the World no. 1 ended. He came into the Australian Open looking good after winning the AAMI classic. He breezed through the first 3 rounds, without dropping a set and  beating Marat Safin along the way as well. He came up against  hard-hitting Tomas Berdych, who was seeded 21 at the time. Everyone expected Roger to dispose him quickly, like he did with his opponents in the first 3 rounds, but Berdych had other ideas. He stunned everyone at the stadium as he took the first two sets 6-4,7-6(4). He was looking dangerous in the 3rd set as well, but Roger Federer proved to the world as to why he is the best and he fought back to win the next 3 sets and win the match. He eventually lost to Rafael Nadal in the final in a thrilling 5 setter.

Final Score – Roger Federer def. Tomas Berdych 4-6,6-7(4),6-4,6-4,6-2


#5 French Open 2009 4th Round against Tommy Haas

Federer had to dig deep on clay

French Open 2009 is probably the only French Open which Federer and all his fans around the world would want to remember. This was the year he finally won the Open, beating Robin Soderling in the final and completed his career slam. The final was quite easy for him, as he won in straight sets, but the road to the final was extremely hard as Federer had two 5 set matches to deal with. The first one came in the fourth round, again. He was up against Tommy Haas from Germany, who was seeded a low 63 at the time but impressed everyone in his first 3 rounds. Haas was looking to continue his dream run against Federer, and his quest to defeat the World no. 2 started off brilliantly as he won the first 2 sets 7-6,7-5. Nadal had been knocked out the night before and Federer knew that this was his best bet to win the tournament. Probably with that in mind, he fought back and easily won the last 3 sets to take the match.

Final Score - Roger Federer def. Tommy Haas 6-7(5),5-7,6-4,6-0,6-2

#6 Wimbledon 2010 First Round against Alejandro Falla

Falla troubled Roger with superb net play in the early stages of the match

Roger Federer’s 2010 year on court started off brilliantly, as he won the Australian Open for the 5th time defeating Andy Murray in the final. He came into the Wimbledon being the firm favourite to lift the title. He was up against the big Colombian Alejandro Falla in the first round, whom he had defeated 6-1, 6-2 in the Gary Weber Open, just before Wimbledon. Everyone thought it would be smooth sailing for the Swiss Maestro, but Falla battled all odds and with a host of unforced errors from Roger, he won the first 2 sets 7-5,6-4. Federer did not know what had hit him and was staring at defeat in the first round for the first time since 2002. But, Federer finally got back his form in the 3rd set, and for the rest of the match which he finally won. It was a tournament to forget for Roger, as he was knocked out in the quarter-finals, where he lost to Tomas Berdych. 

Final Score – Roger Federer def. Alejandro Falla 5-7,-4-6,6-4,7-6(1),6-0


#7 French Open 2012 Quarter Finals against Juan Martin Del Potro

Federer handled the big serving Del Potro better as the match went on

Federer came into the 2012 French Open looking strong as he had won 4 ATP titles between the Australian Open and the French Open, 2 of them being on clay. Federer came into the tournament looking to win it only for the 2nd time. He was up against Juan Martin Del Potro, who was becoming better by the tournament. Both of them had met at the same stage in 2009 which was an epic 5 setter as well. Del Potro looked to avenge that loss and he was on course to do that as he took the first two sets. Federer came back strong and for the 7th time in his career, came back from 2 sets down to win the match. He set up a semi-final against the World No. 1 Novak Djokovic whom he eventually lost to in straight sets.

Final Score – Roger Federer def. Juan Martin Del Potro 3-6,6-7(4),6-2,6-0,6-3.


#8 Wimbledon 2012 3rd Round against Julien Benneateau

Federer was taken to a decider on his favorite surface

Wimbledon 2012 started off well for Federer as he beat his 1st and 2nd round opponents with ease, and set up a meeting with Julien Benneteau in the 3rd round. For the second year in a row at Wimbledon, Federer went to five sets against a Frenchman, but this time, there were no slip-ups, but Benneteau did give him a scare as he went on to win the first 2 sets 6-4,7-6. Federer won the 3rd set with ease. The 4th set went right down to the wire, and it could have gone anyway, but Federer was calm and composed and held his nerve to win the fourth set 7-6( he won 8-6 in the tiebreak). Ultimately, it was Benneteau whose body and resolve collapsed, as he took a medical timeout twice in the 5th set. Federer took advantage of his condition and won the decider with ease. He went on to lift his 17th Grand Slam title beating the crowd favourites Andy Murray in the final in 4 sets.

Final Score – Roger Federer def. Julien Benneteau 4-6,6-7(3),6-2,7-6(6),6-1.

 

#9 US Open 2014 Quarter Finals against Gael Monfils

Federer saved two match points in the fourth to pull off a spectacular win

This is probably one of the best comeback made by Roger Federer after being 2 sets down. On top of being 2 sets down, he won the 3rd, but  found himself 2 match points down to the Frenchman in the 4th set serving at 4-5. Everyone thought it was over, including Roger himself, who conceded to the fact at the post-match interview. But it was all but over. Serving at 15-40, he held his nerve for two crucial points( one of which Monfils almost won) playing some very aggressive shots to take it to deuce. There was no turning back for him since then as he broke Monfils the next game and took the set 7-5. The 5th set continued the way the 4th set ended with Federer dominating by attacking more. He broke Monfils twice and won the 5th set 6-2, thus winning the match, and the crowd went berserk. We saw so many different faces of Federer that night, which is very rare. Roger ended up losing to the eventual champion Marin Cilic in the Semi-Finals.

Final Score – Roger Federer def. Gael Monfils 4-6,3-6,6-4,7-5,6-2.

#10 Wimbledon 2016 Quarter Finals against Marin Cilic

Federer reminds the crowd that he is still the best in the business

At the age of 34, Roger Federer still continues to mesmerize us with his superb comebacks. Up against Marin Cilic in the quarter-finals at his favourite venue, Federer was outplayed in the first 2 sets. Despite hitting 17 winners and creating multiple break points, Federer was unable to convert them as Cilic took control of the first set in the tiebreak. The second set saw Cilic just get better and Federer was not able to manage the Croat’s huge serve and massive forehand. Cilic broke Federer in the 3rd game of the 2nd set and eventually went on to win the set 6-4. 

It was in the third set that the Federer magic was revived. The Swiss GOAT ensured that the ghosts of the 2014 US Open semifinals did not come back to haunt him as he broke a resilient Cilic serve in the 8th game of the third set to eventually win 6-3. 

The fourth set was a real humdinger. But Federer, as he has shown on numerous occasions was more than up to the task. Despite facing 3 match points, Federer came up with the goods when it mattered most and won a nail-biting fourth set in the tiebreaker. 

The decider saw both men locked in combat until, at 4-3, Federer put a sweet forehand winner down the line to snatch the decisive break. He did not show any nerve as he served out the match in the 9th game of the 5th set to move on to the semifinals. Unfortunately, his run ended there as he lost another nail biter to Milos Raonic in 5 sets. 

Final Score: Roger Federer def. Marin Cilic 6-7,4-6,6-3,7-6,6-3



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