He has played well over the first two rounds. But the question remains, what does Federer have to improve on to continue his winning streak and possibly win this tournament?
I will be providing my thoughts on possible answers.
Please keep in mind that, I am not implying that Federer is not already doing the things that I mention. I just feel that they need to be on the forefront and continually worked on.
On to the slideshow.
Like we know he can, Federer came out and defeated his opponents in the first two rounds in straight sets. He had somewhat of a challenge from Feliciano Lopez, but probably nowhere near as much as he anticipated.
Taking control early like he has done is going to be an important strategy, if he intends to win the French Open.
By taking control early in the match and maintaining it, it allows him to conserve himself both mentally and physically, allowing him to be in control of pacing himself throughout the tournament.
He has to do whatever is necessary to keep himself from getting backed into a corner, possibly facing a challenge later in the match because his opponent had the advantage early on.
Though we know Federer can and has battled back from being down, it simply takes too much out of him.
With a tournament of this magnitude, it is easy for Federer to get his mind wrapped around possible opponents on his quest to the championship round. But, if he is to make it to the championship, he has to keep his mind on one match at a time.
As I mentioned in a previous slideshow, it is only natural that Federer would be affected by how he has been playing and the results that he has faced, including but not limited to his current ranking as No. 3 in the world.
OK. That is reality. We've got that out. This does not mean he has to remain at No. 3 or continue to play as he has in recent tournaments or continue to experience defeat.
He has to tuck those thoughts and feelings away for now—not forgetting them, but using them only as springboards moving forward. He has to remind himself that with each new match, it is a new opportunity.
Federer's match with Lopez shows that he is putting things behind him, as Lopez is the same player that forced Federer to play a very grueling match in Madrid.
Federer has to remember that he is indeed, Roger Federer, a great tennis player who has accomplished much in his career.
Going back again to the point of disappointments, being human, when you experience them, they weigh on believing in yourself and your ability to be successful.
Federer has to remember who he is, what he has accomplished (prior to and during this year's French Open) and use that as a constant confidence builder.
He will need confidence, because the challenge will indeed be before him as he moves closer to the championship.
Simply stated, Federer has to give it his all. He has to be strong both offensively and defensively on the court.
He has to make the most of every opportunity that he creates as well as take advantage of every opportunity that his opponents may provide. If he does this, I think he can win the French Open.
Hopefully, we will see Federer playing for the title at this year's French Open.