'Roger Federer then beat me four times in 3 months', says former Top 20



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'Roger Federer then beat me four times in 3 months', says former Top 20

Monte Carlo is one of the rare notable tournaments that Roger Federer does not have in his collection, he lost in the final to Rafael Nadal for three years in a row and lost his last chance in 2014. Six years after the previous one, Roger advanced to his fourth and final Monte Carlo title match after a solid 7-5, 6-2 win over defending champion Novak Djokovic in one hour and 15 minutes.

In the quarterfinals, Roger barely survived the Jo-Wilfried Tsonga test after missing the first 15 break opportunities, prevailing in three sets for the 34th match against Novak Djokovic. With 70% service, Roger lost 14 points in ten service games, fending off both break opportunities and keeping pressure on the other side of the court to secure the 18th win over the Serbian.

Djokovic couldn't match those numbers despite a valiant effort in set number one, he broke three times and couldn't defend the title he claimed a year ago after beating Rafael Nadal, an eight-time winner. Nothing could separate them in the rallies with five strokes or more, and it was Federer who dominated in the shorter exchanges up to four shots.

Former World No. 13 Andrei Pavel recently opined that 20-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer's all-round game and incredible talent make him nearly incomparable.

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"My only victory over Roger Federer was in Hamburg in 2000," Andrei Pavel said.

"He was very young, 18 years old, and ranked 40th in the world. A year later he was already No. 1." Andrei Pavel went on to assert he had no inkling that Roger Federer, still a teenager then, would go on to become one of the greatest tennis players of all time.

The Romanian even claimed that Roger Federer is a 'mega-complete' player. "He then beat me four times in 3 months (in 2004)," Andrei Pavel said. "Roger is Roger. He's a mega-complete, mega-talented player; you can't compare him to too many people.

When I defeated him, I didn't think he would become the best tennis player in history." The Swiss Maestro had claimed after his Doha quaterfinal loss that he needed to train further before playing matches week-in and week-out.

The Doha event was the 39-year-old's first in more than a year, given that he underwent two knee surgeries in 2020. Roger Federer could still take a last-minute wild card for any of the upcoming events in April.