Tennis: Will the Federer-Nadal Stranglehold on Grand Slam Titles End in 2011?

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Tennis: Will the Federer-Nadal Stranglehold on Grand Slam Titles End in 2011?
Julian Finney/Getty Images

By now tennis fans are so used to the status quo that any time Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal does not win a Slam, the airwaves crackle with speculation.  

Since 2003, Roger Federer has won 16 Slam titles.

The Swiss began with one title in 2003 at Wimbledon and ended with one title in 2010 at Melbourne, averaging almost three a year in the interim.

The headlines occur when Federer is NOT in a Grand Slam final.

The Swiss has won four Australian Open titles, one French Open championship, six titles at Wimbledon and five consecutive titles at the U.S. Open from 2004-2008. 

Federer had appeared in 23 consecutive semifinals until Robin Soderling beat him in the 2010 French Open quarterfinals.

24-year-old Rafael Nadal, who won his first French Open title in 2005, has now won five titles at Stade Roland Garros.

In 2010 Nadal captured a career Grand Slam when he won the U.S. Open for the first time.

In addition to five French Open titles and that U.S. Open championship, Nadal has captured Wimbledon twice in 2008 and 2010 and the Australian Open once in 2009.  Nadal owns nine Grand Slam trophies.  

That leaves little room for anyone else. 

This iron grip on majors is quite unusual in the history of the sport.

True, other players have dominated, but not for such an extended period. If we look back at the years since the Open Era began, you begin to see how extraordinary the dominance of the current No. 1 and No. 2 ranked players has been.

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