Roger Federer hasn't failed to reach the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam since the 2004 French Open, and don't expect that to change anytime soon.
The world No. 3 lucked out with the draw for the 2013 French Open, avoiding both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. And with Andy Murray out with a bad back, Fed looks like a lock to reach the tournament final for the sixth time in his career.
While Federer certainly demands respect as a 17-time Grand Slam champion, it's hard to argue that he's not ecstatic to avoid both Nadal and Djokovic considering those two men were responsible for his two most recent defeats at the French Open.
Nadal took out Fed in four sets in the final two years ago before Djokovic wiped him out in straight sets in the semifinals in 2012.
In 2013, Federer will open up the tournament against Spain's Pablo Carreno-Busta in the first round and won't face a seeded player until the third round potentially, assuming Frenchman Julien Benneteau can get through the first two rounds.
If not the 30th-seeded Benneteau, than perhaps it will be 15th-seeded Gilles Simon or 18th-seeded Sam Querrey who gives Federer his toughest test in the fourth round.
The toughest opponent in Fed's quarter of the bracket is sixth-seeded French star Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the man who beat him in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon two years ago despite trailing two sets to love.
But Federer wouldn't meet Tsonga until the quarterfinals. Therefore, it should be smooth sailing for Roger through the first four rounds in Paris. He should be able to pick up where he left off before the Rome final, fine-tuning his game and gaining confidence in each and every one of his shots for the late-round matches.
Federer simply doesn't lose in the early rounds at Grand Slams, and nothing about his draw suggests that he's going to start now.
While the red clay at Roland Garros hasn't been nearly as kind to Federer as the fast grass of London, keep in mind that he's won over 80 percent of his singles matches at the French Open, boasting a 54-13 record there dating back to 1999.
Roger Federer isn't going to stroll into the French Open final this June, but he should have no problem cruising through his first four matches in Paris this coming week.
Don't be surprised if he doesn't drop a set.
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