Federer could end Nadal’s reign with a win at the Australian Open

Roger Federer brings down curtain on his career with a defeat, but still dazzles alongside longtime friend and rival Rafael Nadal

For the better part of a decade, Rafael Nadal has been the undisputed king of men’s tennis. With a career Grand Slam triumph in 2010 and an Olympic gold medal in 2012, the Spaniard has established himself as the standard bearers for the men’s game. But despite a record-breaking 11 major titles, Nadal has been a victim of his own success – and he might get the last laugh.

Federer’s reign has come to a close as he exits the French Open after his third straight defeat in the semi-finals with a 7-6 (4), 2-6, 7-6 (7), 6-3 loss to Tomas Piotr Glinic of Croatia. His quarter-final against Stanislas Wawrinka also ended in a loss, and the Swiss has lost the past two years in the second round.

The last thing Federer wanted was to miss the French Open. But the 32-year-old has now lost four matches in a row and is looking ahead to next year’s Australian Open, where he could have the chance to close the gap to Nadal and end the Spaniard’s career on a high note.

“I am very disappointed,” Federer said after the third set in his French Open defeat. “I had the match almost completely under control, but I don’t think I did a good enough job in my legs. They were a bit tired on the match.

“You need a couple points here and there. I did a couple things well, but it just wasn’t enough.”

Federer beat Andrei Pavel 7-6 (2), 6-1 in the last four years to win his 12th Wimbledon title in July 2016.

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