Roger Federer admitted on Wednesday that he’s becoming a traffic hazard to Paris motorists as fans become increasingly caught up in his emotional push towards an historic French Open title.
Federer reached the semi-finals at Roland Garros with a 7-6 (8/6), 6-2, 6-4 win over France’s 11th seed Gael Monfils and needs just two more victories to claim a first French Open and complete a career Grand Slam.
Victory on Sunday would also take him level with Pete Sampras’s record of 14 major wins.
“When I walk on the streets or drive in the transportation or I go for dinner, everybody is saying: ‘This is your year. You’ve got to do it´,” said the 27-year-old Federer.
“They’re screaming from their scooters and out of their cars. They even get out at the red lights and want me to sign an autograph or take a picture. It’s quite incredible this last couple of weeks.”
Federer, who will be playing in his 20th successive Grand Slam semi-final, has been defeated in the final in Paris for the last three years, falling each time to Rafael Nadal.
But Nadal’s stunning defeat to Robin Soderling in the fourth round, as well as losses for third seed Andy Murray and Novak Djkovovic, the fourth seed, has presented Federer with his best chances to finally capture a French Open.
If he prevails against Juan Martin Del Potro in Friday’s semi-final and wins Sunday’s final he would become only the sixth man to complete a career Grand Slam.