Roger Federer created history on Sunday when he became the first man in Wimbledon’s 140-year history to lift the trophy eight times. He didn’t have to struggle hard for his 19th Grand Slam win as his opponent Marin Cilic was not at his best due to a blister on his left foot. With the defeat, Cilic became the fifth player to lose against Federer in a Wimbledon final. While the likes of Mark Philippoussis and Andy Roddick could never win a Wimbledon title again, the duo of Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray were able to bag the trophy after losing to Federer in the finals.
Here’s a look at Federer’s vanquished Wimbledon final opponents and their career over the years:
Mark Philippoussis — Lost to Federer in 2003
The big-serving Australian made quite a return in 2003 after suffering from a knee injury for a long time. At the Wimbledon, he defeated the likes of Andre Agassi and Sébastien Grosjean to enter his maiden Wimbledon final. The then-21-year-old Federer, who was playing his first Grand Slam final, was just too good as Philippoussis lost the match in straight sets. The Australian maintained his form for few months as he helped Australia win the Davis Cup title against Spain and also lifted the Shanghai Open trophy.
But his good run did not last beyond 2003, and his career went downhill. In Wimbledon 2004, he was knocked out in the fourth round and then went through a string of losses till the end of the season. His ranking dropped significantly and he mostly relied on wild card favours to play Grand Slams. He couldn’t compete at the highest levels anymore when his knee injuries started troubling him again. After quitting the game, Philippoussis had a stint with modelling and also appeared in a reality TV dating show.
Andy Roddick — Lost to Federer in 2004, 2005, 2009
When Pete Sampras and Agassi started losing relevance on courts, it was expected that Andy Roddick will carry forward USA’s legacy in tennis. Initially, Roddick lived up to the hype as he won the 2003 US Open. Federer and Roddick were the rising stars and people were already talking about their future rivalry. But by winning the 2004 Wimbledon final against Roddick, Federer showed the world that he way way ahead. The pair met twice later in Wimbledon finals — 2005 and 2009 — but on both the occasions, Roddick had to face defeat.
When Roddick retired after the 2012 US Open, he had won only one Grand Slam. Now a media personality, Roddick couldn’t achieve greatness despite starting his career on a promising note.
Rafael Nadal — Lost to Federer in 2006, 2007
At the 2006 French Open, Nadal and Federer met in a Grand Slam final for the first time. Nadal, aka King of Clay, took the game in four sets and stopped Federer from a achieving a Career Grand Slam. But Federer did not wait long for his revenge. Just a few months later, Federer outclassed Nadal to win his fourth Wimbledon and his eighth Grand Slam. Nadal also lost the next year’s Wimbledon to Federer, who became the second man to win five Wimbledon trophies on a trot. It could’ve been six but Nadal finally defeated Federer in the 2008 Wimbledon final — a match many consider to be the greatest in tennis history.
Nadal, unlike Roddick or Philippoussis, was not one to get lost in obscurity. He went on to win the French Open a record 10 times and has secured 15 Grand Slams till date. The rivalry with Federer is still going strong with both facing each other in 2017 Miami Open final.
Andy Murray — Lost to Federer in 2012
In 2012, Murray became the first British man in 74 years to enter the Wimbledon final. By that time, Federer was chasing his seventh Wimbledon title and his 17th Grand Slam. It was kind of catch 22 situation for people sitting in the centre court. Federer was their darling but Murray would have made Great Britain proud. But as the match progressed, it was getting pretty evident that Murray was no match to Federer. In the end, it was disappointment for Great Britain as Federer won the match in four sets.
The chance for Murray came again in next year. In the final, he was facing Novak Djokovic and this time, the people of Great Britain were not anguished. Murray won the match in straight sets and lifted the Wimbledon title for the first time. Murray would go on to win the Wimbledon again in 2016, but after that, his form dipped. For a while, he had not been playing at his best, and the 30-year-old now faces an uphill task to achieve full fitness and add more to his three Grand Slams.
Published Date: Jul 17, 2017 08:26 pm | Updated Date: Jul 17, 2017 08:26 pm