Roger Federer: Why Fed-Ex Will Finish 2012 Strong After French Open

Gerard GilbertoContributor IIIJune 1, 2012

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 01:  Roger Federer of Switzerland plays a backhand during his men's singles third round match against Nicolas Mahut of France during day six of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 1, 2012 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Former world number one Roger Federer, 30, is not showing any signs of deterioration.  The now third-ranked Federer is still showing his ability to go deep into tournaments, and even grab a couple tournament winners.  But now, it's Grand Slam time for Fed-Ex as the ATP heads to Paris for the French Open.

After breezing through the first round, Federer struggled to put away Romanian, Adrian Ungur.  Following winners in the first two sets, Ungur took the third set from Federer.  Fed-Ex is now 189-2 on the third set in matches where he's taken the first two. Federer eventually put-down Ungur in four sets, but once again stumbled through his third round match-up, needing four sets to oust Frenchman Nicolas Mahut (6-3, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5).

Is this a sign of bad things to come for the rest of Roger's 2012 season as well as, the French Open?

There are many reasons why Roger Federer will close out 2012 in strong fashion. The thirty year-old Federer already has four tournament winners this season and has reached the semifinals in seven of the eight tournaments of which he has competed.  Federer is also competing with some Top Ten or even Top Five players and sometimes beating them. 

Federer has won tournament finals matches against fourth-ranked Andy Murray, seventh-ranked Tomas Berdych, ninth-ranked Juan-Martin Del Porto and eleventh-ranked John Isner.  Federer even took down world number two Rafael Nadal, before beating Isner in the Paribas Open.

Federer's tournament losses have come in the semifinals of tournaments against Nadal, top-ranked Novak Djokovic and fifth-ranked Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.  Tsonga and Federer squared off six times last year with Federer taking five out of six of the matches. 

The question that can determine the strength of Federer's season is, will he be able to beat Novak Djokovic?  Federer avoided Djokovic in his four tournament winners, but with Djokovic being the top player in the world, he may be unavoidable for someone looking to take a Grand Slam title.  Federer also has to remember to continue winning matches against guys like Murray or Berdych or Del Porto and not let a guy like Tsonga continue to get revenge against him.

On a historical note, Fed-Ex won his 235th Grand Slam match today, a world record.