Roger Federer insists he can still one day win the French Open to complete his career Grand Slam despite losing in the final for the second straight year to claycourt nemesis Rafael Nadal.
It was another bitter pill to swallow for the world No 1 following two months of hard labour on his least-favourite surface honing his game to win the one major title to elude him to date.
It was the eighth time he has played the tournament and the eighth time he has come up short.
His first ever claycourt win over the Spaniard in the final of the Hamburg Masters last month had boosted his hopes, but once again he fell in four sets to Nadal who at 21 won the title for the third year in a row.
The 25-year-old Federer, who has won Wimbledon four times with three wins in each of the US and Australian Opens said he remained upbeat about his chances of one day winning in Paris.
"If I had won I would not have had many other goals to chase in my career," he said.
"Like this it always stays open and eventually, if I get it, the sweeter it is going to taste.
"So hopefully, I'll give myself more and more opportunities over and over again. I know I can do it now, that's for sure. After playing three very good French Opens, Rafa came along and took them all, so it's kind of Rafa and me."
Federer paid tribute to the Spaniard saying he fully deserved his victory and that physically he had proved to be the stronger of the two on the day.