Breaking Down Roger Federer's Odds of Securing 2nd French Open Crown

Benjamin Klein@BenjaminJKleinContributor IIIJune 4, 2013

What needs to happen for Roger Federer to take home his second French Open title?
What needs to happen for Roger Federer to take home his second French Open title?Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

Roger Federer advanced to the 2013 French Open quarterfinals against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga with a close-call win over Gilles Simon in the fourth round.

Federer is well on his way to winning his second career title at Roland Garros, but taking the crown will be far from easy. The remaining opponents are about as good as one could think up, as the top four seeds are still alive—Federer being No. 2—and the three other remaining players each have a seed in the top 12.

The competition is going to get tougher and tougher for one of the top players in the world and he’ll need to be at his best going forward. He can’t afford to slip up even once unless it could lead to him getting eliminated.

Below are the odds that Federer wins in the quarterfinals, semifinals and the French Open final, as he tries to capture the 18th Grand Slam crown of his career.

Odds of a Quarterfinal Victory: 6-1

Head-to-Head vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: 9-3 (2-0 on Clay)

Federer will be taking on Tsonga in the quarterfinals as previously mentioned. Tsonga is a very tough opponent that will definitely make sure that Federer doesn’t advance easily, if at all.

I’ve been clear in several other articles that I think Tsonga is going to come out on top, hence the fairly low odds of Federer coming out victorious and earning a berth into the French Open semifinal.

Tsonga has won each match thus far in straight sets and has looked good even when he hasn’t always played his best. Federer, on the other hand, didn’t look great at all against Simon after falling down awkwardly. He did end up winning the match, but it was quite a close call for the No. 2 seed.

Federer has made it to the semifinals seven times in his career at Roland Garros, including the last two years. He lost in the semifinals last year and in the final the year prior. He hasn’t lost in the quarters since 2010, but it seems that Federer is bound to fall just as early this year.

Odds of a Semifinal Victory: 4-1

Head-to-Head vs. Tommy Robredo: 5-0 (2-0 on Clay)

Head-to-Head vs. David Ferrer: 14-0 (5-0 on Clay)

If Federer can avoid a quarterfinal loss to Tsonga, I actually like his chances of making it to the final. Robredo has overstayed his welcome and it’s unlikely that he’d be able to top Ferrer in their match in the round of eight.

Robredo is the No. 32 seed at Roland Garros and it’s taken five sets in three matches for him to stay alive through this point in the tournament. In his most recent matchup against Nicolas Almagro, he dropped the first two sets before winning the next three. I still don’t see him making it to the semis, though.

Ferrer has been fine on clay this season, going 15-5 before coming to Paris. The No. 4 at Roland Garros, Ferrer has only been the semifinals at the French Open once in his career, falling a year ago to Rafael Nadal. He’s won each of his matches thus far in straight sets, although hasn’t faced very tough opponents.

The reason that Federer would win against either of these opponents is because of his previous success against them. As noted above, Federer has never lost a match against Robredo or Ferrer on any type of surface. Tsonga is the real threat to Federer, not either of his potential semis opponents.

Odds of Winning French Open Title: 8-1

Head-to-Head vs. Djokovic: 15-13 (3-3 on Clay)

Head-to-Head vs. Nadal: 10-19 (2-13 on Clay)

For the last two rounds, I’ve shown the head-to-head records for Federer and his actual and potential opponents. As you’ll notice above, I only included his records against Rafael Nadal, the No. 3 seed in Paris, and Novak Djokovic, the No. 1 seed.

The reason for this is simple: If either Nadal or Djokovic isn’t in the final at Roland Garros and Federer is, there’s no question that Federer should come out victorious. Federer isn’t as great on clay as he is on other surfaces, but still has phenomenal chances against Tommy Haas or Stanislas Wawrinka in a potential finals showdown.

If Federer does face either Nadal or Federer, he’s in trouble.

Nadal is the best clay player in the world and as shown in their head-to-head records, Nadal has crushed Federer in the past. He’s evenly matched against Djokovic and it would likely be a close battle, but the Joker has better odds to win his first French Open title than Federer has to win his second.

Needless to say, a lot of things need to play out in Federer’s favor in order for him to claim the second French Open title of his career. 


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