Roger Federer: Swiss Tennis Star Must Dominate at French Open

Eric BowmanFeatured ColumnistMay 10, 2012

KEY BISCAYNE, FL - MARCH 26:  Roger Federer of Switzerland in action against Andy Roddick during Day 8 of the Sony Ericsson Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 26, 2012 in Key Biscayne, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The 2012 French Open doesn't begin until May 22, but it's no secret that Roger Federer has to thrive in the Grand Slam tournament. 

Federer is having a solid season so far, but there have been a few unfortunate losses at the beginning of the year.

He's picked up the pieces since then, winning some tournaments here and there, but the Grand Slam events are what's most important. 

Earlier this week, Federer told USA Today that he hopes he can win a major tournament this year. 

"I know how hard it is to win (a major championship). But it is a dream for me to achieve it this year. I will chase it as hard as possible."

After failing to do so at the Australian Open, Federer will attempt to accomplish his goal in France. It's not going to be easy, and chances are he has a better shot at winning Wimbledon than he does the French Open, but that doesn't change the fact that he needs to excel at Roland Garros this year. 

A disappointing effort from Federer in France will do damage to his game moving forward this season. He hasn't won a Grand Slam tournament since 2010, and another poor outing would only make matters worse. 

Having won the French Open only once back in 2009, Federer needs another strong showing this time around. He made it to the finals last year, only to lose to his archrival Rafael Nadal

Everybody knows that Nadal is the king of clay courts, but Federer is fully capable of taking him down at Roland Garros. Reaching the finals again would be great for the Swiss star, but winning it would give Federer the utmost confidence for the remainder of the year. 

Since he's getting up there in age, it's becoming increasingly difficult for Federer to win a Grand Slam event. With Nadal surging forward and of course Novak Djokovic continuing his dominance, Federer has taken a back seat in the spotlight in recent years. 

Obviously everyone is well aware of his talents, and many tennis players still fear him. After all, he's had tremendous success in his career, so going up against him can be extremely intimidating. 

Anything short of dominance at the French Open will be a letdown for Federer. It's always a tough tournament to win, but it's still possible for Federer, even at this point in his career.