Meet the active trio never to have lost to Federer
- Pat Rafter (3-0) and Franco Squillari (2-0) lead a small group of 16 players never to have lost against the 20-time Major winner.
Roger Federer is one of the most successful players in the Open Era to have wielded a tennis racquet.
The 38-year-old has the most Grand Slam titles (20) and Grand Slam match wins (362) than any player while his feat of winning 10 titles on two different surfaces (Halle-grass and Basel-hardcourt) is another first.
Federer is the only player to win 100 matches at a Grand Slam tournament, or for that matter at any tournament, having raked up a century of match wins at Wimbledon (101) and the Australian Open (102). The only player to win a singles match on tour in 4 different decades has 103 singles titles and 1242 match wins against his name, which are only shaded by American Jimmy Connors.
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The Swiss legend is one of only two players, the other being Rafael Nadal, to play 5 finals at all 4 Grand Slam tournaments. Federer narrowly failed to become the oldest player in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title when he squandered multiple championship points on serve in the fifth set of an epic 2019 Wimbledon final against Novak Djokovic before going down to the Serb in a first-ever fifth-set tiebreak in the history of the grasscourt major.
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During the course of his illustrious 22-year ongoing professional career, Federer has met 345 different opponents, Tennys Sandgren in the 2020 Australian Open quarterfinals becoming the 235th different players to cross swords against the Swiss maestro and come up second-best.
Pat Rafter (3-0) and Franco Squillari (2-0) lead a small group of 16 players never to have lost against Federer. On that note, let us meet the active trio who has a perfect record against the 20-time Grand Slam champion.
Note: All of them have only met the maestro once till now.
#3 Andrei Rublev (1-0)
In his lone meeting with 7-time champion Federer at the 2019 Cincinnati Masters, Andrei Rublev beat Federer in straight sets to reach the quarterfinals.
The match-up almost never materialised as Rublev 'forgot' to sign up for the tournament and was fortuitous to get an entry to the main draw as a qualifier.
But the young Russian made the most of his opportunity, bursting out of the blocks and breaking the Federer serve thrice in a swift 57 minute win to hand the 38-year-old his quickest defeat in 15 years and his earliest exit in Cincinnati since losing to Ivo Karlovic in the 2008 second round.
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#2 Thanassi Kokkinakis (1-0)
Thanasi Kokinakkis beat defending champion Federer in a third-set tiebreak in the opening round of the 2018 Miami Masters in the pair's first ever meeting on tour.
In the process, the 175th-ranked Australian qualifier became the lowest ranked player to beat the world's no. 1 since a 178th-ranked Francisco Clavet beat Kokinakkis' compatriot Lleyton Hewitt at the same tournament 15 years ago.
It marked only the second time, Federer as the top-ranked player in the ATP ranked player, lost against an opponent ranked outside the Top-100 since losing to 101st-ranked Frenchman Richard Gasquet, also in a third-set tiebreak, in the quarterfinals of the 2005 Monte Carlo Masters.
With the loss, Federer ceded top spot in the rankings to Rafael Nadal.
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#1 Evgeniy Donskoy (1-0)
After winning his 18th Grand Slam singles title at the 2017 Australian Open, Federer opened his account for an eighth title in Dubai with a straight-set win over Frenchman Benoit Paire.
For a place in the quarterfinals, Federer was up against Russian qualifier Evgeny Donskoy for the first time. Breezing through the opening set in 24 minutes, there was little inkling of what was to transpire as Federer arrived on match points in the second set tiebreaker.
But Donskoy bravely fought off those points to take the match into a decider where Federer failed to serve out the match at 5-3 and saw a 5-1 lead in the ensuing tiebreak disappear as the 116th-ranked Russian pulled off the biggest win of his career.