It is a known fact that the French Open has always been a tough task for Roger Federer. However, this year may be much more significant.
Though Federer has won only one out of the past 12 Majors, he may just be primed for his 18th victory with the announcement of this year's draw, which can be found here.
As you can see, the Swiss Maestro's first two opponents will be qualifiers.
Maybe this is not the best way to enter a big tournament since the top guys would likely prefer somebody whom they are more familiar with. The hitting rhythm may not be as great with lesser-ranked players.
But his chances of bowing out in the early stages are very much slim to none.
The only player who could do any damage to Feds in the next round is Julien Benneteau, who can usually be a tricky opponent. He, however, must be able to win his first two matches at Roland Garros.
Still, the No. 2 seed should advance to the fourth round. So far no trouble—and the fourth round is similar.
Potential risky opponents are Sam Querrey (seeded 18th) and Gilles Simon (seeded 15th).
The American has never proven himself against the Swiss player, dropping all five of the sets in which they played. Additionally, Querrey has had a poor clay-court showing thus far, losing early on in tournaments such as Madrid, Rome and the Open de Nice.
Simon, however, is another story and can certainly give Roger the no-pace ball that has proven to be successful in previous encounters. However, in a three-out-of-five-set format and on a clay court, Simon's chances are incredibly diminished. Roger also gave him a straight-set thrashing in Rome last week.
Though the quarterfinals stage should always be a difficult match, this will likely not be the case for the Swiss athlete. Notice how straight-forward this looks up until the semifinals for him.
Though Marin Cilic, Juan Monaco and Jeremy Chardy could prove to be contenders, the odds of them taking more than one set off of Federer are just too low.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is the one man who Roger has faced in many Major quarterfinals. Though he has beaten Federer a quarter of the times they played, he has won only one match against him in a Major.
Semifinal opponents could range from Tomas Berdych, Nicolas Almagro, Milos Raonic and Kevin Anderson to the most likely opponent—David Ferrer.
Again, Ferrer has not given Federer much trouble (actually none) in their lengthy careers.
It looks like Federer's chances of reaching the final are incredibly high (though it won't be a walk in the park), and the chances of him facing commonplace foe Rafael Nadal there are lesser than usual.
He will likely draw Novak Djokovic in the semifinals, who has the power to stop the oft-winning Spaniard. Rafa also has tough potential early opponents such as Daniel Brands, Lukas Rosol, Benoit Paire, Kei Nishikori, Stanislas Wawrinka, Richard Gasquet and Jerzy Janowicz.
Let's just see how it all plays out in the first week and then make a final assessment of how probable it will be—compared to previous years—that somebody besides Rafa takes home the winner's trophy.
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