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Roger Federer Would Revive Career with Improbable 2013 French Open Title

Mike Hoag@MikeHoagJrCorrespondent IIMay 24, 2013

Roger Federer was outclassed by Rafael Nadal on the clay courts of the Italian Open.
Roger Federer was outclassed by Rafael Nadal on the clay courts of the Italian Open.Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Roger Federer received a favorable draw at the 2013 French Open. However, it is going to take a tremendous effort by the 17-time Grand Slam winner if he plans to add more hardware to his impressive trophy case.

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic were both placed in the opposite half of the French Open draw, signaling a potential clay-court showdown between Federer and one of his rivals.

FOX Sports echoed a popular scenario that ends with a Nadal vs. Djokovic and Federer vs. David Ferrer semifinals was likely (via Twitter):

FOX SPORTS News @FOXSportsNews

The 2013 @rolandgarros draw is out...possible semi-final showdowns in men's draw - Djokovic v Nadal...Federer v Ferrer #ATP

Despite having a seemingly easy path to the finals (Federer is 14-0 against Ferrer), Federer has yet to win a title in 2013 and has struggled along the way. He was upset at the Madrid Open by 14th-seed Kei Nishikori, and then embarrassed on clay by Nadal on May 18.

Rafa continued his dominance over FedEx by capturing the Italian Open title after cruising to straight-set victory (6-1, 6-3). There was little doubt about the 31-year-old giant’s chances. The win distances Nadal even further from Federer, giving him his 20th win in the series while his opponent has won just 10.

It’s tough to witness the present undeniable decline in Federer’s game. Even in his present form, he is still a top competitor, but it’s only a matter of time before he falls off completely.

Have we finally reached that juncture in the legend’s career?

While it’s possible we have finally reached that place, that doesn’t diminish what he has achieved to this point. His career and legacy are, for the moment, nearly unchallengeable.

Never say never, especially when dealing with someone who has commanded the courts for as long as Federer. If he gets rolling on his serve, it will be a tough battle for anyone to send the determined champion packing.

A late-career renaissance is possible for the struggling star, but how incredible would it be if it began in Roland Garros? What if Federer defeats Nadal on clay to capture his second French Open title and 18th Grand Slam victory?

There are improbable storylines and great headlines throughout the sports world every day, but how could anyone hope to top that?

As good of a story as that would make, it could also go very quickly in a different direction. Another disappointing showing may be one step closer to the end for one of the game’s greatest players of all-time.

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