Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:May 28th, 2009 03:01 EST
Roger Federer following through after serving

Unfavorable Conditions May Thwart Federer's Chances In 2nd Round

By Christopher HIllenbrand

Number two seeded player Roger Federer may be facing an uphill struggle on Thursday when he plays his second round matchup at Roland Garros against Jose Acasuso of Argentina on a tempered Centre Court.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the 2008 French Open awards ceremony

Claycourts are very pliable due to weather conditions given that the tennis ball bounces off the surface at a faster rate when the temperature gets warmer, and Federer is prone to liking the weather especially warm, favorable to his faster style of play.

The Swiss, who has a 3-0 record against Acasuso, aired his disapproval of the conditions surrounding his first round win when the temperatures rose to 30 degrees Celsuis, which is 10 to 15 degrees less than what the former world number one is partial to. With Thursday`s weather forecast for Paris reported to be 19 degrees, Federer probably won`t feel up to his usual spectacular style of play, but even on what he calls his weakest surface, analysts predict that Federer will make it to the finals to face Rafael Nadal. If he does, it will be the fourth consecutive time Federer and Nadal square off in the French Open finals.

"In America and Australia we play at 40, 45 degrees, so it`s still pretty mild for my liking," Federer said following his first round victory over Alberto Martin from Spain.

The 13-time major champion has won three of the four Grand Slam titles: Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, and the Australian Open, though the French Open has been within his reach several times. Federer has been defeated by Nadal, his replacement as the world`s number one, in the French Open finals the last three years.