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Federer's date with destiny doomed?

Updated: June 6, 2009, 3:22 PM ET
ESPN.com

PARIS -- So it's a foregone conclusion that Roger Federer ties Pete Sampras' all-time Grand Slam mark, achieves the elusive French Open title and silences the critics, right? After all, his worst nightmare, the irrepressible Rafael Nadal, is not standing on the other side of the net.

It's a magical opportunity, one that would exalt the venerable Swiss to the very pinnacle of tennis immortality, and perhaps, just perhaps, quash the greatest-player-of-all-time debate.

But ...

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