Leading up to the French Open, the L'Equipe newspaper drew a funny parallel between the world of tennis and the superb Asterix comics by Goscinny and Uderzo. This fortnight, Roger Federer, blithe spirit of the beautiful game, will attempt to win the only major tournament that still eludes him. Simon Kuiper, while comparing the world number one to a Roman emperor in the Financial Times, quotes L'Equipe as saying:
One small village of indomitable Gauls still resists him.
Federer's struggle for ascendancy on the clay courts of Paris is reminiscent of the great Ivan Lendl's valiant, obsessive, but ultimately unsuccessful efforts to win Wimbledon. As a fan, one hopes that history does not repeat. Federer admits:
Roland Garros has become the great objective.