Men's Tennis

French Open 2012: Why Roger Federer Won't Take Home the Title This Year

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 05:  Roger Federer of Switzerland plays a forehand in his men's singles quarter final match against Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina during day 10 of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 5, 2012 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Ryan PhillipsContributor IIIJune 8, 2012

Roger Federer has reached the semifinals of the French Open for the seventh time in eight years, but unlike 2009 when he won the tournament, the Swiss star won't take home the title this time around.

On Friday afternoon in Paris, he will matchup up against Novak Djokovic, who is the tournament's top seed. The two men faced off in the semifinals last year at Roland Garros, and Federer won, 7-6 (5), 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5). That victory snapped Djokovic's 43-match winning streak. This time Djokovic has won three-straight Grand Slam championships and is riding a 26-match winning streak in major championships. 

Federer and Djokovic have faced each other 25 times, with Federer holding a 14-11 edge. 

Both Federer and Djokovic had tough matches in the quarterfinals. Federer rallied from two sets down against Juan Martin del Potro to win, 3-6, 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-0, 6-3. Meanwhile, Djokovic survived a four-hour, 19-minute contest and four match points to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 6-1, 5-7, 5-7, 7-6 (6), 6-1. Both men could be feeling the effect of those grueling matches on Friday.

Even if Federer does somehow find a way to get by Djokovic on Friday, he will almost certainly have to deal with clay-court master Rafael Nadal in the final. Nadal is currently 50-1 during his career at the French Open, with his only loss coming against Robin Soderling in 2009. 

Nadal is currently tied with the Bjorn Borg for the most French Open titles with six, a win this year would put him alone at the top with seven. 

Federer hasn't won a Grand Slam title since the 2010 Australian Open. That's more than two years without a major title. The Swiss superstar is clearly on the downside of his remarkable career that has seen him win a record 16 Grand Slam championships. 

This year at the French Open, he won't make it 17.

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