Roger Federer’s loss to Juan Martin del Potro on Wednesday means that he and old rival Rafael Nadal were once again denied a first-ever US Open meeting.
Here are the six near-miss moments at the US Open that have kept Federer and Nadal apart:
Nadal breezed past Andrey Rublev in straight sets to reach the semi-finals, leaving Federer to see off Juan Martin del Potro later in the day to finally set-up a New York clash with his Spanish rival. However, nobody told Del Potro, who downed Federer in four sets.
Federer was within one match of playing Nadal in a quarter-final but lost to Spaniard Tommy Robredo in a fourth-round matchup. Robredo had been 0-10 against Federer until his four-set victory, Federer’s first loss in a hardcourt Slam before the quarter-finals since 2003. Robredo lost to eventual champion Nadal in the next round.
Federer held two match points against Novak Djokovic in a semi-final for the second year in a row in a rematch but again lost to the Serbian, who then defeated Nadal in the final. It was Federer’s second career loss from two sets ahead and meant 2011 was his first year without a Slam title since 2002.
Federer held two match points against Novak Djokovic in the final set but lost to the Serbian, who then lost to Nadal in the final. Djokovic overtook Federer for world number two with the triumph.
Nadal lost to Juan Martin del Potro in a semi-final before the Argentine giant defeated Federer to claim his only Grand Slam title, rallying from a set and a break down. It was Federer’s first US Open loss since 2003 and Del Potro’s first win over the Swiss star after six prior losses.
Nadal lost to Andy Murray in a semi-final and the British star lost to Federer in the final. Federer won his fifth consecutive US Open crown and 13th career Slam final, one shy of the then-record total of Pete Sampras. It was Murray’s first Slam final.