Roger Federer's three worst defeats on clay

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Roger Federer's three worst defeats on clay

Roger Federer is considered to be one of the greatest tennis players in history, perhaps the best ever. His victories and records made him a record holder in many categories, such as the 20 Slams wins or the eight triumphs at Wimbledon.

In June 2009 he won the French Open for the first time, equaling Pete Sampras' 14 Slams and getting the career Grand Slam.
Yet in his extraordinary career, he has suffered three sensational defeats on clay, despite having won 11 titles on the surface.

The 2006 Italian Open final was perhaps the first big match between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. At that time the ATP Masters 1000 are played at the best of the five sets: the crowd of Rome could see an extraordinary match, won by Nadal in five exciting sets with the final score of 7-6, 6-7(5), 4-6, 6-2, 6-7(5) after a long battle.

That was a tough defeat for Federer who perhaps understood Rafael Nadal's real strength for the first time. Only two years later, in 2008, the Swiss Maestro and the Spaniard were again face-to-face, for the third consecutive time, in a Roland Garros final.

If Roger managed to do something good in the previous two editions, in 2008 he was totally annihilated by his opponent, who won for 6-1, 6-3, 6-0. A humiliating defeat, which still highlighted the superiority of Nadal on clay-courts.

That was perhaps Federer's worst match ever at the French Open. In April 2014, Roger Federer reached the final at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. He faced his countryman Stan Wawrinka, who had just won the Australian Open final.

That was an extremely intense and exciting match, with both tennis players who could have won that challenge. In three sets Wawrinka defeated Federer, giving to his friend and rival a great lesson, winning with the final score of 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-2. A hard defeat for Roger Federer, who won the first set but who was recovered by his opponent.