Can Roger Federer win a second French Open title?

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May 17, 2019 10:05 AM EDT
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It's hard to argue against the notion that Roger Federer is the best tennis player of our generation, with the Swiss Maestro winning 20 Grand Slam titles in his career thus far, but the French Open has been a stumbling block to his all-round dominance.

He has only won on the clay court once - back in 2009 - and a win at this year's French Open will see Federer not only add to his Grand Slam tally, but it will also mean that he will have won all four Grand Slams on more than one occasion. You can check out his odds of winning the tournament here - https://www.paddypower.com/tennis/french-open-2019.

Here we take a look at his chances of winning on the clay court.

Clay conundrum

If you take a look at the trophy cabinets of two of the best, Federer is almost the polar opposite to long-standing rival Rafael Nadal. While the Swiss ace has dominated on all court surfaces except clay, the Spaniard has struggled to impose himself on anything that isn't clay.

Of Nadal's 17 Grand Slam titles, only six have not been won on clay courts, while in Federer's case, eight of his 20 have been on grass, one on clay and 11 on the hard courts.

When Federer won his one and only French Open title to date, he was fortunate in that the "King of Clay" Nadal had been eliminated in the fourth round by Swedish player Robin Söderling. That being said, Federer did have some top players to take on en-route to glory, including Juan Martín del Potro and Gaël Monfils. He met Söderling in the final, but unlike the King of Clay, he was able to defeat his Swedish opponent, and in straight sets too.

His form

Roger Federer hasn't had a good time in the build up to this year's French Open, with his dominance slowly looking like it's beginning to fade. At last year's Wimbledon, he could only reach the quarter-finals before being eliminated by South African Kevin Anderson in an enthralling five-set match.

He followed this up with a fourth round defeat to Australian John Millman in the US Open in four sets. In the following Grand Slam - the 2019 Australian Open - he again was eliminated in the fourth round, this time to Greek player Stefanos Tsitsipas.

His form in the French Open leaves a lot to be desired, with the Swiss Maestro not having reached a final on the clay court Grand Slam since 2011. He hasn't appeared in the tournament since 2015, having withdrawn from the clay season since then, but will make his return at this year's event.

His record in his past five French Open tournaments doesn't appear too bad, having had one fourth round elimination, two quarter-final eliminations, one semi-final elimination, and one final appearance, where he lost to Rafael Nadal.

King of all courts?

At the age of 37, it will be interesting to see if Federer can add another French Open title to his sole win from 2009. He's proven he is the king of all courts, except for clay. A second title in the clay court Grand Slam will help solidify his status as one of the greatest ever tennis players and potentially make him the king of all courts.

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