Rewind to: The start of an epic 41-match winning streak at the US Open by Roger Federer

Roger Federer had a magnificent 41-match winning streak at the US Open from 2004 to 2008 and he almost won the 2009 tournament before losing in an epic five-set encounter to Juan Martin del Potro.

Roger Federer won the US Open five consecutive times form 2004 to 2008. (Image credit: Twitter)

When it comes to streaks in Grand Slam tournaments in the Open Era, the fabulous trio of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer have dominated tournaments in a brilliant way. Nadal won the French Open five consecutive times from 2010 to 2014. The Spaniard had earlier won the title in Roland Garros four consecutive times from 2005 to 2008 and from 2017 to 2020. Novak Djokovic won the Australian Open three consecutive times from 2019 to 2021. But, Roger Federer won the Wimbledon tournament five consecutive times from 2003 to 2007. At the same time, he also had a streak at the US Open.

Federer did not have a good time at the US Open from 1999 to 2003. He had reached the second qualifying round in his first US open and he managed to reach the third round in 2000. After reaching three consecutive times in the fourth round from 2001 to 2003, Federer finally managed to break the mojo and win the US Open.

Roger Federer begins his era of dominance

After winning the Wimbledon title for the first time in 2003, Federer started a new era of domination. From 2004 to 2008, Federer won 12 out of the 16 Grand Slam titles. For seven consecutive years from 2003 to 2010, he was winning at least one Grand Slam title. His streaks were so remarkable that in three out of the five years from 2004 to 2008, he won three Grand Slam titles.

2004, 2006, and 2007 were the wonder years of Roger Federer. It was in 2004 that Federer won the Australian, Wimbledon, and US Open. The French Open was being dominated by Nadal, with Federer not winning it until 2009. The year 2004 was a testament to Federer’s dominance. He had won the Australian Open in straight sets and conquered Wimbledon for the second time by beating Andy Roddick in four sets.

In the US Open, he started the tournament with a bang as he lost just one set in the first four rounds. In the second round against Marcos Baghdatis, he was given a tough fight. But, in the quarterfinal against Andre Agassi, Roger Federer faced his first true test. In a topsy-turvy encounter, Federer won in five sets and looked good to break his jinx at the US Open. Federer beat Tim Henman in the semifinal. In the final, in another clinical display, Federer thrashed Lleyton Hewitt 6-0,7-6 (3), 6-0 in a one-sided contest. This was the start of Federer’s dominance in Flushing Meadows.

Federer reaches a different peak altogether

The blueprint for dominance continued in the 2005 US Open. Federer, fresh from winning Wimbledon for the third time, was in awesome form in New York. He lost only one set in the first four rounds. The set loss was against Nicholas Kiefer of Germany in the fourth round. After beating David Nalbandian in straight sets in the quarterfinals, Federer once again encountered Hewitt. After their one-sided clash in 2004, Hewitt put up a better display. Federer won the first two sets 6-3, 7-6 (0) but lost the third 4-6. That seemed like an aberration as he won the fourth set 6-3 to enter the final.

In the summit clash, Federer faced off against Agassi. For the first two sets, the Swiss had a tough time against the veteran. Federer won the first set 6-3 but Agassi bounced back with a 6-2 win in the second set. But, Federer gained crucial momentum and won the next two sets 7-6 (1), 6-1 to win the title for the second time.

2006 was another golden period for Federer, winning the Australian and Wimbledon titles. He swept through the first four rounds without dropping a set. In the quarterfinal, he faced James Blake and won the first two sets 7-6 (7) and 6-0. But, Blake made a strong comeback and won the third set tie-break 11-9. The fourth set saw Federer wrest control and he won the set 6-4.

Federer dispatched off Nikolay Davydenko in the semi-final. In the final, he squared off against Andy Roddick. Federer won the first set comfortably but Roddick leveled the match by winning the second set. After a tough fight in the third, Federer won it 7-5 and the hat-trick of US Open titles was achieved when he won the fourth set 6-1.

The dominance continues

Federer once again had a magnificent 2007, winning the Australian and Wimbledon titles. In this interim, from 2006 to 2008, he had reached three French Open finals but each time, he lost to Rafael Nadal. The clash in the 2007 Wimbledon final between Federer and Nadal was brilliant. But, in the US Open of 2007, Federer reached a different peak.

In the first four rounds, Federer had some trouble against John Isner and Feliciano Lopez, who both extended him to four sets. But, in the final clashes, he was supreme. Federer beat Roddick and Davydenko in straight sets to enter the final where he was going to face Novak Djokovic of Serbia. Federer put on a masterclass to win his fourth title on the trot in Flushing Meadows.

The year 2008 saw Federer’s Wimbledon streak come to an end thanks to a loss in the final against Rafael Nadal. But, his magnificence continued in the US Open. Federer won the first three rounds in the US Open comfortably but was in trouble against Igor Andreev in the fourth round. Andreev won the first set on a tie-break and Federer leveled the match by winning the second set by a tie-break. Although Federer won the third set 6-3, Andreev equalized. The final set saw Federer hold his nerve to enter the quarterfinal.

Federer won the quarterfinals by beating Gilles Muller. In the semi-final, he lost the opening set to Djokovic but won the next three sets to enter the final. Federer won the US Open for the fifth time when he defeated Andy Murray in straight sets.

The streak ends for Roger Federer

In 2009, Federer was going to break into new territory. No player in the Open Era had won one tournament more than five times. The Swiss maestro looked in good touch, losing only one set in the first four rounds. It was Hewitt who gave him a tough fight in the third round as he won the opening set.

Federer lost a tie-breaker in the third set to Robin Soderling in the quarterfinal but he was largely untroubled. After beating Djokovic in the semi-final, he faced Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina in the final. Federer won the first set 6-3 but lost the tie-breaker in the second. Federer easily won the third set but inexplicably lost the fourth set on a tie-breaker again. In the fifth set, del Potro played some inspiring tennis to win the match and end Federer’s 41-match winning streak in the US Open.

Despite the loss, Federer still broke some records. Federer became the first player in the Open Era to win five consecutive US Opn titles and that feat has still not been equaled. In the pre-Open Era, Richard Sears won seven consecutive US Open titles from 1881 to 1887. It was a golden period for Roger Federer fans as the Swiss displayed a different level of intensity and wizardry. The 2008 win would be the last time Federer would win in the US Open as his returns gradually tapered with the progress of the decade.

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