Federer returns to Roland Garros after missing last year’s tournament due to his knee injury and will face a qualifying match in their opener.
You can see his opponents projected below.
Federer’s intended opponents
- Tour 1: Qualification
- Round 2: Marin Cilic
- 3e tour: Taylor Fritz
- Tour 4: Matteo Berrettini
- Quarterfinals: Novak Djokovic
- Semi-final: Rafael Nadal
- Final: Dominic Thiem
Full printable PDF print.
Thoughts on the draw
The first round sees Federer face off against a qualifier, which in the past is normally a formality.
However, given that the Swiss have only made three competitive matches (only one on clay) in the past two years, and his opponent will have played that three times in the past seven days, it won’t be easy.
Some competent players in the qualifying draw have already made Grand Slam draws by direct acceptance, such as Taro Daniel, Mackie McDonald and several clay specialists from Spain and Argentina. We will know more about his chances once the opponent is confirmed.
The second round will likely see Federer take on his longtime friend and rival Marin Cilic. The Croatian faces local wildcard Arthur Rinderknech in the first round, who made it to the quarter-finals in Lyon last week, beating Jannik Sinner along the way.
It’s not an easy match for Cilic, it’s his worst Grand Slam, and he arrives with a W4: L4 record during the clay swing, losing his last game to another wild card, Dominic Stricker at the Open. from Geneva.
For the third round, Taylor Fritz is the 30th seed, and although he reached the final here at the juniors in 2015, I don’t really assess his play on clay, so he will have to play well to face Joao. Sousa in the first round, then either Matthias Bourge (WC) or Dominik Koepfer in the second round.
The last sixteen have Matteo Berrettini as the seed, and he is a big favorite to cross this section. I can’t see Kevin Anderson or Felix Auger-Aliassime doing too much damage and no other name really stands out.
Djokovic is the number one seed in Federer’s quarterback, and he seemed to be finding his feet in Rome and likely win the title in Belgrade this week.
Nadal is therefore the seed in the other quarter, and although he has a tricky first game against Popryrin, his draw seems pretty clear for the last four.
Depending on who Federer draws in the first round, I think he can win three matches in Paris. Cilic doesn’t move well enough these days and has always had some mistakes in him.
Fritz has pretty big serve and can score points quickly, but over five sets, assuming the Fed is physically up to the task, I’d like him to move him too much and get through.
The other half of the draw
With the two big names in the upper half, the lower half represents a great opportunity for Thiem, Zverev and Tsitsipas to reach the final. Casper Ruud and Cristian Garin aren’t too far behind either, so it’s the more interesting half for the neutral.
You also have the likes of Fognini, Delbonis, Dimitrov, Carreno Busta, Isner, Korda, Raonic, Khachanov, Evans and Norrie all in this half, so it’s really wide open for someone to put together a deep run.
I would choose Zverev to make the final given his draw, but Tsistipas is not far behind. The question marks are more on Thiem, who has had a bad season so far, but if he can recover mentally, you can’t rule him out given his record in Paris.
And finally, will Medvedev win a match in Paris? He faces Bublik in the first round, which is the match 🍿.
Federer’s first shot in Paris
Hit with one of the players from 2021 so far, Aslan Karatsev.
What do you think of the draw? What can Federer do in Paris? Let me know in the comments.