The courts at Roland Garros, aka the French Open, hold a special place in Roger Federer's heart. It was here in Paris that he won a career-defining maiden title to complete the rare career Grand Slam in 2009, and it was here that he edged Novak Djokovic in an epic semifinal in four sets.
Granted, more could be said for it having been the seat of his deepest tennis sorrows—remember the final in 2008, a straight-sets drubbing by Nadal? Or the loss to Soderling in 2010 which ended his 23 Grand Slam semifinal streak? It was also at the French where he lost his first Grand Slam final in 2006, and where he last failed to reach the quarterfinals—in 2004.
As he embarks on this new stage of his career, however, the French seems to have become the source of new joys. In winning a dazzling semifinal against Djokovic last year, Federer reached his lone slam final of 2011, allowing him at least to claim that feat for an eighth consecutive year.
This year the same might elude him, and in the exact same form—a semifinal match against Novak Djokovic. It is the cruel age of his successors, Nadal and Djokovic. Even now Federer still plays to redefine records, for such have become his achievements that he breaks them just by winning matches.
It happened yesterday, when in defeating Romanian Adrian Ungur 6-3, 6-2, 6-7, 6-3, he broke Jimmy Connors' record for the most Grand Slam wins by reaching the round sum of 234.
Here are some of the records Federer might set, equal and extend at the 2012 French Open.