Borg, Lendl, Federer and Nadal: The Open era most one-sided rivalries

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Borg, Lendl, Federer and Nadal: The Open era most one-sided rivalries

Over a course of the last 50 years, the Open era in men's tennis has forged some of the biggest rivalries in the history of the game but also the lopsided affairs with a total domination of one player. On seven occasions, a competitor was able to win at least 16 matches against specific rival without losing a single match, and three of those are still alive, having a chance to increase the dominance or to lose the unbeaten streak. Only four all-time-great players were capable of creating such one-sided contests and it all started with Bjorn Borg who defeated Vitas Gerulaitis in all 17 meetings between 1974-1981.

No matter was it carpet, grass, hard or clay court, Bjorn would always come out victorious against his good friend, including a 1977 Wimbledon semi-final that went down to the wire. Their last match also came at Wimbledon in 1981 (the last time Bjorn played at his beloved tournament) and the Swede prevailed in three close sets to end the rivalry with a perfect score.

Ivan Lendl had three rivals against whom he always was the clear favorite, defeating Tim Mayotte in all 17 matches and ousting Scott Davis and Brad Gilbert no less than 16 times. Roger Federer and Mikhail Youzhny have met for the first time in Stockholm 2000 when they were both teenagers and the Russian never found the way to beat the great Swiss, losing all 17 clashes they played against each other.

Over the years, Roger would barely lose a set against Youzhny, regardless of the surface, but he really had to give his best to earn the place on this list when he battled past Mikhail in five sets at the last year's US Open, by far the best matches these two have played.

A former world number 3 David Ferrer has accomplished a lot in his career, winning almost 30 ATP titles including the one at Masters 1000 level and he also competed in the Grand Slam final, making himself one of the best players outside the Big 4 in the last 15 years or so.

One thing David has never managed to do is to beat Roger Federer, despite the fact they played against each other for 17 times starting from 2003! Five of these matches came on clay but David was unable to take the advantage of that and score at least one win over a 20-time Grand Slam champion, and he was unable to make that extra push in their last three matches when he managed to win a set.

In the end, we have another unexpected rivalry on the list, with Rafael Nadal winning all 16 matches he has played against Richard Gasquet. These talented coevals were born within 15 days of each other and they forged their rivalry already in the young categories before joining the ATP Tour in 2002 as the biggest prospects in the game at that moment.

As we all know, Nadal became one of the greatest players of all time while Gasquet never found that extra gear that would push him towards the very top of the game. Also, he never solved Nadal riddle, from the very first match in Estoril 2004 to the last week's Roland Garros clash, losing 28 sets in a row since 2008 Canada Masters when he took a set to love lead! The most one-sided rivalries in the Open era:


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