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Meet the duo to have played Federer multiple times without losing

Roger Federer
Roger Federer
ANALYST
Modified 26 Feb 2020
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Roger Federer is one of the most recognizable faces in the world of tennis. An epitome of sustained excellence and longevity, the 20-time Grand Slam champion has carved out a niche for himself during a stellar ongoing 22-year professional career.

Since losing to Argentinian wildcard Lukas Arnold Ker in the first round at 1998 Gstaad, Federer has amassed 1242 wins and 270 defeats. Among players to have played over 200 matches, Federer's success rate of 82.1% is only surpassed by Rafael Nadal (83.1%), Novak Djokovic (82.9%), and Bjorn Borg (82.4%).

The 38-year-old's 103 singles titles and 1242 match wins are second only to Jimmy Connors (109 titles, 1274 match wins).

Federer's first round win over American Steve Johnson at the 2020 Australian Open, en route to the semifinals where he lost to eventual champion Novak Djokovic, made him the first player in the Open Era to win matches in four different decades.

You may also like: 3 milestones Federer accomplished at the 2020 Australian Open

During the course of his illustrious career, Federer has faced 345 different opponents, the latest being Tennys Sandgren - who squandered seven match points before going down in a five-set quarterfinal at the 2020 Australian Open. 234 different players who have locked horns with Federer have never managed to emerge on the winning side even once.

On that note, let us meet the duo to have played Federer multiple times without enduring a defeat.

#1 Franco Squillari - 2 wins in 2 matches

Franco Squillari
Franco Squillari

Argentinian left-hander Franco Squillari is one of only two players to have beaten Federer multiple times without losing even once.

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Squillari's first meeting with Federer was in the first round of the 2001 Hamburg Masters (then a Masters tournament), a match the 20-time Grand Slam champion lost in straight sets.

That was the first time the then 18th-ranked Federer lost a claycourt match to a left-hander not named Rafael Nadal, and the first defeat on any surface against an Argentinian opponent.

In the pair's second meeting in the opening round at 2003 Sydney, Squillari ran out a 6-2, 6-3 victor.

#2 Patrick Rafter - 3 wins in 3 matches

Pat Rafter
Pat Rafter

Patrick Rafter is the only player, other than Franco Squillari, to face Federer multiple times and come out unscathed.

It was Rafter who denied Federer a maiden Grand Slam match win on the latter's Major debut at 1999 Roland Garros. The then 17-year-old Swiss took the opening set 7-5 but thereafter it was the Rafter show as the Australian dropped only five more games in the remainder of the match.

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The pair met again two years later, on the hardcourts of Miami in 2001. The outcome was even more straight forward this time, with Rafter beating Federer 6-3, 6-1 to reach the semifinals.

Later that season, in their third and last meeting, Federer came close to a first win against Rafter but squandered a match point before going down in a third set tiebreak in the quarterfinals of Halle.

You may also like: 8 tournaments where Federer has had the most missed opportunities

Published 26 Feb 2020, 15:58 IST
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