The 111th French Open kicks off on May 27, and that means another opportunity for Rafael Nadal to extend his dominance at Roland Garros.
Nadal has won six French Open titles in seven years, and goes into the 2012 tournament as the clear favorite.
Roger Federer will do his best to unseat the King of Clay as four of Nadal's title wins at Roland Garros have come against the Swiss star, including the four-set championship match in 2011. Federer has only one French Open title, which came in 2009, the year Robin Soderling made the Final after upsetting Nadal in the fourth round.
The Federer - Nadal rivalry dates back to their first match in 2004 at the Miami Masters. Nadal has a 12-2 record against Federer on clay, and an 18-10 record, overall. On clay courts, the ball tends to bounce higher, but at a slower pace, making it difficult for less defensive players.
Though Nadal has the edge over Federer with head-to-head matches, Federer has been in strong form after his recent win at the Madrid Open, which pushed him past Nadal for the No. 2 ranking for the first time since March 2011.
I look at the big picture and what is important to me is just to be in the top 10 and if I am No. 2 or not at the French Open doesn't change anything, Federer said.
The 2012 French Open won't be just a set up for a Federer - Nadal match up. Top-ranked Novak Djokovic is also set to compete and is aiming of his first French Open title after claiming three other major titles in 2011.