#3 Wimbledon - 3 defeats from 5 finals
Two-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal defied expectations by becoming the first Spaniard in exactly four decades (since Manolo Santana in 1966) to reach the Wimbledon final in 2006. But on the other side of the net was a dominant World No. 1 Roger Federer, who had reigned at the grasscourt Major for three years.
Despite Federer losing his seven-Slam 100% final record at Roland Garros to Nadal earlier in the season, the Swiss maestro proved a far tougher nut to crack on the mowed lawns of SW19. Nadal was second best for large swathes of the final, struggling to contain the brilliance of Federer, but managed to avert a straight-sets defeat by taking the third set tiebreak. Federer soon ran away with the match in the fourth.
A year later, the pair met again for the title match at Wimbledon. Although it was a tighter affair than their previous clash, it was Federer who escaped multiple break points in the fifth set to become the first player since Bjorn Borg (1980) to win 5 consecutive Wimbledon titles.
Nadal did break through Federer's favourite bastion in 2008 by prevailing in an epic final, and also landed a second title by beating Tomas Berdych in 2010.
In 2011, Nadal lost to a resurgent Novak Djokovic in four sets, to lose 3 finals at a tournament for only the second time in his career. Following a spate of early exits to lower-ranked players, it would be seven years before Nadal made another semifinal at the tournament (lost to Djokovic 9-7 in the fifth in 2018).
The next year, it was Federer who stopped the Spaniard at the same stage of the tournament.
You may also like: 8 tournaments where Federer has had the most missed opportunities
Although Wimbledon is one of nine tournaments where Nadal has won at least 50 matches, it is is one of four in which he has suffered three or more defeats in the title match.Published 08 Jan 2020, 13:26 IST