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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 June 2006, 18:40 GMT 19:40 UK
Federer rues missed opportunity
Roger Federer
Federer had never previously lost in a Grand Slam final
Roger Federer did not hide his disappointment at losing to Rafael Nadal in Sunday's French Open final and so missing out on a place in history.

Victory would have seen Federer become only the third man to hold all four Grand Slam titles at once, but Nadal prevailed 1-6 6-1 6-4 7-6 (7-4).

"Obviously it's a pity but I tried," said Federer.

"I can't do more than try, having this real unique opportunity that we haven't seen in such a long time in tennis."

Federer made a storming start but could not maintain that level.

"I won the first set easily and usually in a situation like that I don't let things go by," he said. "But it's a final. It's against Nadal. It's on clay.

I'm very positive for the rest of the season

Roger Federer

"That makes it very difficult, more difficult maybe than in other cases. So you get back into the match and at the pivotal points I didn't play very well.

"That second set was a big turning point. If just there I can keep up with him and then put him really under big pressure, then obviously it's very different."

The Swiss star paid tribute to Nadal after the Spaniard claimed a sixth win in seven matches between the pair.

"He's a fighter and he's a grinder, and he deserves to win here," said Federer.

"He is so strong on clay and played a really good match. He is so hard to beat on this surface."

And Federer remained optimistic that he could go one step further at Roland Garros in the future.

"I was very pleased to reach a final here," he said.

"I'm very positive for the rest of the season, very positive for next year, because this is going to give me a lot of confidence and I cannot complain about my results."

French Open men's final photos
11 Jun 06 |  Photo Galleries
Gamewatch: Federer v Nadal
11 Jun 06 |  Tennis
Men's singles draw
26 May 06 |  Tennis
Women's singles draw
26 May 06 |  Tennis
French Open schedule
27 May 06 |  Tennis
French Open on the BBC
27 Apr 06 |  Tennis
Nadal's tactics
30 May 06 |  Skills

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