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French Open 2012: Roger Federer's Win in Madrid Makes Him the Favorite

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 13:  Roger Federer of Switzerland is surrounded by ball girls after his victory over Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic in the Men's Single Final on Day Nine of the Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open at the Caja Magica on May 13, 2012 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Jesse ReedCorrespondent IMay 15, 2012

Call me crazy, but Roger Federer's win at the Madrid Open makes him the favorite to win the 2012 French Open over Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

He clearly has a mental edge over his two younger competitors when it comes to dealing with adversity, and his body looks rejuvenated and fresh after a month-and-a-half layoff following his loss to Andy Roddick at the Miami Masters in March.

Federer is one of the classiest professional athletes in the world. And while other top male tennis players were busy criticizing the officials in Madrid for trying to change the laws of physics (I kid) by using blue clay instead of the traditional red clay, Federer quietly went about his business and won the title.

It's crazy to think about the fact that with the victory in Madrid Federer leapfrogged over Nadal to take over the No. 2 spot in the World Rankings at the age of 30. I mean, Nadal is only 25 years old and in the prime of his athletic career. 

It's about time Federer started getting the credit he deserves for this incredible resurgence, don't you think?

When the going gets tough at the French Open, Federer's mental toughness and fresh legs make him the biggest obstacle for either Djokovic or Nadal. Truth be told, I would take the old man any day of the week to beat these younger guys right now.

I know many of you are going to say I'm making a knee-jerk reaction after the Madrid Open, but don't forget that Federer finished in second place at the 2011 French Open. He wasn't nearly as fresh physically then as he is now, and I look forward to watching him prove all his detractors wrong in this year's Open.

 

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