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Has Roger Federer actually underachieved on the tennis court?

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Now this might seem a ridiculous thing to even suggest, after all Roger Federer has won every tennis Grand Slam at least once, and he has won more grand slams than anyone other player, but it is at least worth considering. 

Federer is the most naturally gifted player ever to pick up a tennis racquet. While players like Rafael Nadal have to fight and give everything in the early rounds of tournaments, Federer just effortlessly glides through almost totally untroubled. 

With this year's Wimbledon championships being the obvious exception of course, his style and grace on the court would have graced any era. But, could he have achieved more? 

Now, admittedly this is a golden era for men's tennis with three other outstanding players in Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. Although Federer is considered the greatest of all time, he only has a winning head-to-head career record against one of those players, Djokovic.

Federer does though have a winning record against Murray and Djokovic in the grand slams. Federer and Nadal contested both the French Open and Wimbledon finals between 2006 and 2008. With the grass of Wimbledon being Federer's preferred surface and the clay of Roland Garros being Nadal's surface of choice. 

In this time at the French Open Nadal won all three finals and dropped just two sets. Indeed at the 2008 final he lost just four games in one of the most one sided finals in living memory. Yet at Wimbledon Federer began as the dominant force winning comfortably in four sets in 2006, before being taken all the way by Nadal in the 2007 final. 

By the time of the 2008 final Nadal had found a way to beat Federer on the grass and won one of the greatest ever matches. Yet Federer could still make no impression on Nadal at the French Open, if anything he was getting further away.           

As I said before Federer does lead the way on 17 grand slam titles, but because of the effortless nature of his early progress he is always there or thereabouts. Nadal quite often misses out through injury because he needs to try that much harder just to make the later stages. 

Indeed he was unable to even defend his Wimbledon crown from 2008 in 2009 because of injury. Yet despite all this he still only trails Federer by five grand slams on 12, and being five years Federer's junior he could get very much closer yet.     

So could Federer have done even better? Yes I think he could. He never found a way to beat Nadal on clay, he is yet to complete the career golden grand slam by winning the Olympic Gold Medal and probably never will now and he has lost matches in the latter stages of grand slams that you just wouldn't have expected him to lose.

At least it shows that he is human after all.     

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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