Roger Federer's Recent Inconsistencies Won't Affect French Open Chances

Dan Talintyre@@dantalintyreSenior Analyst IIMay 21, 2013

ROME, ITALY - MAY 19: Roger Federer of Switzerland  plays a backhand against Rafael Nadal of Spain in their final match during day eight of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia 2013 at the Foro Italico Tennis Centre  on May 19, 2013 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Roger Federer will come into the 2013 French Open as the No. 2 seed and, by virtue of that seeding, one of the big favorites to take out the Grand Slam title this year.

Roland Garros—like every other Grand Slam event he's played at—has been the home of great success for the Swiss international, and whilst clay might not be his preferred surface, he's still been more than successful on the Paris courts.

So much so, that even despite his struggles and recent inconsistencies, Federer will be just as big of a threat at the French Open as he always is.

You can guarantee it.

Federer's preparation for the second Grand Slam event of the year has been far from ideal; anyone who's watched him at all this year will know that to be true.

Up until the Italian Open that just finished earlier this week, the 31-year-old had not made a final throughout the entire year. His one clay-court appearance before he made the trek to Rome had seen him trounced by Kei Nishikori in the round of 16 at Madrid.

And even though he did make the final in Italy, he was demolished 6-1, 6-3 by Rafael Nadal to highlight that he seemingly still has plenty of work to do.

That statement might sound harsh given the talents of Federer, but the reality is that he isn't in great form right now. He is obviously still one of the top tennis players in the world and is incredibly strong on whatever surface that he's a tough opponent to play in Grand Slams. But in terms of him being "elite," there's a definite argument to be made that the 31-year-old is starting to decline.

Having said all of that, however, there's no reason why Federer won't be more than ready to go for the French Open—despite his recent inconsistencies and form.

He is a proven performer and is more than capable of getting himself up for a Grand Slam when his form leading into the tournament hasn't been great.

After all, he has managed to make it through to the quarterfinals at every Grand Slam event since the French Open in 2004.

That's 35 quarterfinals in a row.

The numbers become even more ridiculous when we up the stakes and focus on semifinals. Only five times in his past 37 Grand Slams has he not made the semifinals.

Out of those, he's gone to make the final on more than half of those occasions.

Despite the fact that the French Open is viewed as Nadal's event, the reality is that Federer has been equally as strong throughout the years.

He hasn't been as strong as Nadal obviously, given that Nadal has won seven of the past eight French Open titles, but the Swiss star has made the semifinals on all but one occasion at Roland Garros since 2005.

Since 2005, Federer has played in five French Open finals.

See, the reality is that Federer has a history of gearing up for Grand Slam tournaments despite the fact that his previous form-line might suggest otherwise. 

Especially with an argument to be made that perhaps his recent results haven't been completely indicative of his actual performances.

And given that Nadal is now drawn on to the same side of the draw as Novak Djokovic, Federer is once again looming large as a huge Grand Slam contender—regardless of what his recent form-line might indicate.


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