Roger Federer remains undecided about whether or not he will compete in this year’s French Open, but this year may be his best chance to pick up another Roland-Garros title.
With his main rivals struggling with injury or on the comeback trial, and the next in line not quite ready to ascend the throne, the stars may well be aligning for the 36-year-old.
“I dream of coming back to Roland Garros,” he recently told RMC Sport.
“[But] I do not know, I will decide that after Indian Wells.
“[It depends on] how I feel, it’s much more than a decision, it’s the decision of the year, it’s in the middle of the year, it’s a surface change.”
The King of Clay Rafael Nadal will always be the odds-on favourite to win the Coupe des Mousquetaires for an 11th time, but there appears to be no end to his injury woes and at this stage it is anyone’s guess when he will be back.
And even if he is fit for the French Open, this year’s Australian Open again proved that you cannot rock up after several months without competitive tennis and be expected to brush aside your rivals.
Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka are in a similar boat, but they appear to be closer to full fitness than Nadal. Andy Murray is also on the comeback trail, but he remains a major doubt for the clay court season with the grass tournaments his main focus.
Which leaves Federer as the only member of the “Big Five” to be fighting fit and in excellent form.
There are also the likes of Grigor Dimitrov, Alexander Zverev and Nick Kyrgios, but these future stars have proven that they are not yet ready to mix it with the big boys and veterans Marin Cilic and Juan Martin del Potro are likely to pose a bigger threat.
Federer hasn’t played at Roland-Garros since he was beaten in straight sets by Wawrinka in the 2015 quarter-final and who knows how many more opportunities he will get to play there.
While winning a ninth Wimbledon title remains his objective, he would surely get more pleasure, and plaudits, if he is to add a second French Open to his collection.
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