Decoding Roger Federer and his performances over the years in the French Open
Roger Federer is the epitome of elegance and grace. His exquisite shotmaking and fantastic footwork have entertained tennis for the last 23 years.
Federer has dominated on the pristine grass at Wimbledon with 8 titles. The Swiss mastered the hardcourts of Melbourne with 6 titles at the Australian Open. He ruled the roost in New York with 5 US Open titles from 2004 to 2008.
However, Federer won the French Open only once (2009) in his career. The Swiss superstar reached the finals at Roland Garros 4 times (2006 to 2008 and 2011). One player denied him a shot at the title 4 times, it was the King of Clay, Rafael Nadal.
Ahead of the Swiss maestro's comeback at the French Open 2021 where he will face Denis Istomin in the first round, SportCo analyzes the win-loss record of Federer on clay.
record on Clay
|Result in the French Open
Lost in the 1st round
to Patrick Rafter
Alex Corretja beat him in the
4th round in straight sets
Alex Corretja beat him in the
Q-F in straight sets
Hicham Arazi defeated him in the
1st round in straight sets
Lost in the 1st round to
Luis Horna in straight sets
Gustavo Kuerten beat the
in the third round in 3 sets.
4th seeded Nadal beat top seed
Roger in the semis in 4 sets.
2nd seed Nadal defeated top seed
Federer in the finals in 4 sets
2nd seed Nadal beats Roger again
in the finals in 4 sets
Nadal routed the top seed
Federer in 3 sets in the finals.
Federer wins his first French Open
with a 3-set victory over
Robin Soderling in the finals
5th seed Soderling stunned the
Swiss star in 4 sets in the quarters
Top seed Nadal once again beat
Federer in 4 sets in the finals
Top seed Novak Djokovic
overcame Federer in straight sets
in the semifinals of the French Open
6th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
outhit Federer in 3 sets in the
Q-Fs of the French Open 2013
18th seed Ernests Gulbis
shocked Federer in
5 sets in the 4th round
8th seed Stan Wawrinka beat his
compatriot Federer in straight sets
in the Q-Fs of French Open 2015
Did not play at Roland Garros
due to a back injury
Skipped the entire clay-court
season to prepare for Wimbledon
Federer again missed the
entire clay-court season
to prepare for Wimbledon
Lost to the defending champion
Nadal in straight sets in the S-Fs
Did not play the French Open
due to a right knee surgery
Will play Denis Istomin
in the first round
Analysis of Federer’s run in the French Open in his career:
- Roger Federer peaked at Paris from 2006 to 2009 reaching four finals in a row.
- He had a great chance to win the French Open from 2006 to 2008. However, the Swiss could not handle Nadal’s relentless defense and topspin heavy forehand.
- 2009 was a special year for Federer as he clinched his first-and-only French Open title.
- With his archrival Rafael Nadal beaten by Soderling in 4 sets in the fourth round, Federer used the golden opportunity.
- The Swiss star edged past the fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro in five sets in the semis.
- Roger Federer played his A-game in the finals with a straight-set win against the dangerous Soderling.
- The Swiss legend suffered upsets against Soderling in 2010, Tsonga in 2013, and Gulbis in 2014.
- Fans of Roger Federer missed him at the French Open from 2016 to 2018 as he gave more preference to his body and did not want to get injured ahead of Wimbledon.
- He made a strong comeback in 2019 and defeated Next-Gen players like Lorenzo Sonego and Casper Ruud in straight sets followed by a four-set victory against countryman Wawrinka in the quarters.
- But who could deny Federer the crown at the French Open except for one man? Nadal once again brushed past the third seed Roger in straight sets in the French Open 2019 semifinals.
- After losing to Djokovic in the Australian Open semifinals in 2020, Federer missed the entire season due to two arthroscopic surgeries on his right knee.
How far can Roger Federer go in the French Open 2021?
|Stage of the Tournament
|Head to Head Record
|The Swiss can be sluggish playing his first match on clay against the qualifier Istomin.
|Cilic’s big serve and powerful forehand can unsettle Federer.
|Fritz will aim to play aggressively while Federer will thwart him with his one-handed backhand.
|Berrettini is in better form having won a title in Belgrade. Can go to 4 sets with close tiebreakers.
|23-27 overall and 4-4 on clay
|Classic encounter, Djokovic’s superior form will help him win in a tight 5-setter.
|16-24 overall and 0-6 in the French Open
|If Federer manages to win against Novak, he may not have enough gas to battle Rafa and his losing streak vs Nadal here may continue.
|Stefanos Tsitsipas/ Dominic Thiem
|2-2 and 2-5
|Tsitsipas has a 16-3 win-loss record on clay in 2021 and Thiem has never lost to Federer on clay. The Next-Gen duo will outlast Federer.
The 39-year old Federer himself admitted he is unlikely to win the French Open. The Swiss legend has been at ease in the practice sessions against Aslan Karatsev, David Goffin, and Mackenzie McDonald.
Scintillating stats about Federer’s record on clay
|Q-Fs at the French Open
|11 out of the past 12 times
|S-Fs at the French Open
(Win-Loss record is 5-3)
|Total wins in Roland Garros
|Total clay-court titles
|Winning % on Clay
% of Points won on the
First Serve in last 1 year
% of Tiebreaks won
in last year
“I feel like in practice I have been playing better, but then again as we know, matches are a different animal,” said Federer indicating the big challenge ahead with a tough draw in the French Open 2021.
So dear fans, how deep will Roger Federer go at the French Open 2021? Let us know in the comments below.
Featured Image Credits - Getty Images