Between Roland Garros and Roger Federer, the relationship has always been special. Last Grand Slam missing from the Swiss list in many years, RF will have to be patient and experience a lot of disappointments before they can rise to the Musketeers cup and become 6th tennis player at the time (in 2009) who had won 4 Grand Slam tournaments. Back to Roger Federer’s complicated history at Roland Garros.
A complicated start to his career in Parisian clay…
If Roger Federer is considered by many to be GOAT (Greatest Of All Time, the best of all time in French), his first steps at Porte d’Auteuil were not the most obvious. If at the start of his career, Roger Federer of Roland Garros had to admit his incompetence against a specialist like Alex Corretja two years in a row in 2000 (at 8th) and 2001 (at 1/4), the years 2002 and 2003 were shocking defeats with eliminations when he entered the tournament against Hicham Arazi and Luis Horna in 3 short sets while the Swiss were in the top 10 in the ATP rankings. Doubts then remained in the mind of the native of Basel to collapse in Paris as expectations were felt around him. Even if the RF is finally able to pass 1er round of 2004, he had to bow to 1/8th in the final against crowd favorite and three-time winner of the tournament, Gustavo “Guga” Kuerten. A new disappointment for the player who won the other 3 Grand Slam tournaments that year (Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open). In 2005, he left his Australian title despite arriving with full confidence winning the Hamburg Masters a few days before arriving in the city of light. Announced as a huge favorite, he knows a young Spanish player could hinder his path to the stage in the 1/2 finals …
… Then the arrival of Rafael Nadal
This year 2005 sees a new season open in world tennis as well as the start of a competition that transcends the structure of the sport. If for 1time Once in his career, Roger Federer of Roland Garros had no faulty run, especially with the win against former winner, Carlos Moya, all waiting for Friday June 3, 2005, the date when the Swiss will meet the young prodigy from France. Mallorca Island, Rafael Nadal, on his 19th birthday. After a dantesque match, Basel had to bow out against the Majorcan’s heroic defense (6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3) and Spanish dominance in the match. for R. Federer of Roland Garros, who understood that throughout his career, he would have to face an opponent that would block his way in each edition.
And this is sadly the scenario that will happen for Switzerland. Reached for 1time during the 2006 final, Roger Federer bounced back against Rafael Nadal, again in 4 sets, with always the same tactic of serving and playing Swiss backhand. An extremely simple strategy on paper, but that the Swiss were never able to resist the clay. Rebels in 2007 and 2008 where confrontations between 2 players in the final always turn in favor of the Spanish. But if Rafael Nadal’s dominance isn’t disputed, it’s above all that the Majorcan’s grip on Roger Federer’s mind is questioning. The answer to this question was given in the same year in 2008 when Roger Federer, unbeaten at Wimbledon, like Rafa’s dominance at Roland Garros, was defeated at home in the Spanish final. The Swiss tears made all the champion’s grief understandable, unable to defeat the Iberian on the ground but who saw him stripped of his throne in London. A pain more than simple loss. However, next year could be good for the Basel player.
For 1time seasons for 4 years, Roger Federer was not the number 1 seed in the Roland Garros tournament, leaving the honor to Rafael Nadal. If R. Federer achieves a good course all calm, the thunder will occur on Sunday May 31, 2009: Robin Soderling imposes 1time loss of his Spanish career at Roland Garros and ended his dominance. This shocking performance brings out the same phrase from the mouths of tennis specialists and fans: it’s the year or not for Roger Federer to kick off the Musketeers Cup! The day after the defeat of the quadruple defending champion, the atmosphere was completely changed at Porte d’Auteuil this Pentecost Monday around Switzerland, which will have to face German Tommy Haas. And the pressure was immediately felt by the Swiss, who seemed to be borrowed from the first 2 sets of this encounter (6-7, 5-7) and the mind still seemed affected. But pushed by the public, R. Federer rocked the game in the next 3 sets (6-4, 6-0, 6-2) and flew into the final, despite another difficult 1/2 encounter against John Martin Del Potro (win in 5 sets). This day on June 7, 2009, was the day of consecration for Roger Federer at Roland Garros. Faced with the loss of his biggest opponent, Swede Robin Soderling, the Swiss were never put in danger in this final (6-1, 7-6, 6-4) and became 6th man who has won 4 career Grand Slam titles. A grail gained after 4 losses in the finals and many more disappointments experienced as a result of Roger Federer.
The 2010 decade: between injuries and new disappointments
The aftermath of the coronation was less bright for Roger Federer at Roland Garros. Only defeated by Rafael Nadal between 2005 and 2009, the Swiss lost its 2010 tournament title in the 1/4 final against… Robin Soderling (6-3, 3-6, 5-7, 4-6)! The Swede has achieved the success of defeating 2 monsters in world tennis in 2 editions. A loss for world number one who will start 2 consecutive years without a Grand Slam win, he who has won even one for 8 consecutive years.
In 2011, champion Federer had to face 1/2 the one who beat him a few months earlier in Australia and who came unbeaten at Roland Garros, Novak Djokovic. The Serb came in with a 43 -place winning streak during the winner’s encounter in 2009. And this game entered legend. A level rarely seen at Roland Garros, where 2 players take part in a canal fight. After 4 sets, Roger Federer ended Nole’s series and won 7-6, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 and challenged for 5.th times Rafa Nadal in the final. A final that will fulfill all its promises but the Swiss will once again claim defeat in 4 sets (5-7, 6-7, 7-5, 6-1). A new defeat against the king of the clay. One last that was his last Porte d’Auteuil for Roger Federer at Roland Garros.
The year 2012 marked a turning point for the Swiss capital of France. Defeated by 1/2 by N.Djokovic, RF could no longer claim the Paris title afterwards. With losses of 1/4 (2013), 1/8th (2014), 1/4 (2015), before losing the next 3 editions, the Swiss returned to business in 2019, reaching 1/2 against… Rafael Nadal. But a recent loss in 3 sets against his best opponent (6-3, 6-4, 6-2), and that remains to this day, the final moments when Roger Federer can be seen on the field at Roland Garros!
The relationship between Roland Garros and Roger Federer has many lows but also highs. If the Swiss saw that the best player of all time on clay was always in his path, the Basel player left his mark in the Paris tournament with his achievements and his losses, while winning the heart of millions of French people.