Year by Year

If the players dominating the clay seasons are not usually winning Roland Garros, does that mean anyone can win?  
First, take a look at the point leaders each year, with their RG result following:
1990
1991
1992
21
20
20
18
17
10
10
9
8
7
7
Thomas Muster
Andrei Chesnokov
Juan Aguilera
Andres Gomez
Emilio Sanchez
Guy Forget
Marc Rosset
Boris Becker
Henri LeConte
Guillermo Perez-Roldan
Franco Davin
SF
4R
2R
WON
1R
3R
2R
1R
QF
4R
3R
25
18
18
16
15
9
7
7
7
6
6
6
Sergi Bruguera
Emilio Sanchez
Karel Novacek
Goran Prpic
Magnus Gustafsson
Martin Jaite
Boris Becker
Alberto Mancini
Guillermo Perez-Roldan
Jordi Arrese
Javier Sanchez
Dimitri Poliakov
2R
2R
1R
2R
3R
2R
SF
4R
1R
1R
1R
DNP
29
13
10
10
10
9
8
7
6
6
6
6
6
6
Carlos Costa
Sergi Bruguera
Jim Courier
Stefan Edberg
Thomas Muster
Michael Stich
Petr Korda
Aaron Krickstein
Pete Sampras
Carl-Uwe Steeb
Magnus Larsson
Gabriel Markus
Javier Sanchez
Guillermo Perez-Roldan
4R
1R
WON
3R
2R
3R
FINAL
3R
QF
4R
3R
2R
1R
1R
1993
1994
1995
21
16
14
13
12
10
9
9
8
8
Sergi Bruguera
Andrei Medvedev
Michael Stich
Ivan Lendl
Stefan Edberg
Jim Courier
Cedric Pioline
Andrei Chesnokov
Emilio Sanchez
Guillermo Perez-Roldan
WON
SF
4R
1R
QF
FINAL
2R
2R
1R
1R
24
13
12
12
11
10
10
10
8
8
8
Andrei Medvedev
Carlos Costa
Sergi Bruguera
Michael Stich
Yevgeny Kafelnikov
Pete Sampras
Richard Krajicek
Javier Sanchez
Alberto Berasategui
Jim Courier
Thomas Muster
QF
2R
WON
2R
3R
QF
3R
1R
FINAL
SF
3R
34
18
13
12
12
10
8
8
7
7
7
Thomas Muster
Goran Ivanisevic
Sergi Bruguera
Andrei Medvedev
Wayne Ferreira
Albert Costa
Marc Rosset
Gilbert Schaller
Yevgeny Kafelnikov
Magnus Larsson
Boris Becker
WON
1R
SF
4R
3R
QF
2R
2R
SF
4R
3R
1996
1997
1998
36
19
11
10
10
9
7
7
7
7
Thomas Muster
Marcelo Rios
Albert Costa
Yevgeny Kafelnikov
Roberto Carretero
Alex Corretja
Richard Krajicek
Slava Dosedel
Andrea Gaudenzi
Carlos Moya
4R
4R
2R
WON
1R
2R
QF
2R
2R
2R
27
17
11
10
9
9
8
7
7
7
Alex Corretja
Marcelo Rios
Andrei Medvedev
Albert Costa
Felix Mantilla
Alberto Berasategui
Hicham Arazi
Cedric Pioline
Carlos Moya
Marcelo Filippini
4R
4R
4R
3R
2R
1R
QF
3R
2R
1R
19
17
15
14
10
9
8
7
6
6
6
6
6
Alberto Berasategui
Albert Costa
Carlos Moya
Marcelo Rios
Andrea Gaudenzi
Alex Corretja
Todd Martin
Cedric Pioline
Thomas Muster
Fernando Meligeni
Thomas Enqvist
Richard Krajicek
Gustavo Kuerten
4R
4R
WON
QF
2R
FINAL
1R
SF
QF
4R
3R
3R
2R
1999
2000
2001
23
22
16
11
9
8
7
7
7
6
6
6
6
Marcelo Rios
Gustavo Kuerten
Felix Mantilla
Mariano Zabaleta
Albert Costa
Franco Squillari
Carlos Moya
Patrick Rafter
Todd Martin
Dominik Hrbaty
Nicolas Lapentti
Alberto Martin
Jerome Golmard
QF
QF
4R
1R
3R
1R
4R
3R
DNP
SF
2R
1R
DNP
21
17
15
12
9
9
8
7
6
6
6
6
6
Marat Safin
Gustavo Kuerten
Magnus Norman
Cedric Pioline
Dominik Hrbaty
Carlos Moya
Andrei Pavel
Juan Carlos Ferrero
Franco Squillari
Alex Corretja
Fernando Vicente
Mariano Puerta
Francisco Clavet
QF
WON
FINAL
4R
2R
1R
1R
SF
SF
QF
4R
3R
2R
31
17
13
10
8
7
7
6
6
6
Juan Carlos Ferrero
Gustavo Kuerten
Albert Portas
Alberto Martin
Guillermo Coria
Hicham Arazi
Carlos Moya
Guillermo Canas
Jiri Novak
Andy Roddick
SF
WON
1R
2R
1R
2R
2R
4R
3R
3R
2002
2003
2004
14
13
11
11
10
10
9
9
9
8
Gaston Gaudio
Younes El Aynaoui
Andre Agassi
Carlos Moya
Juan Carlos Ferrero
Roger Federer
Albert Costa
Marat Safin
Tommy Haas
Jarkko Nieminen
4R
2R
QF
3R
FINAL
1R
WON
SF
4R
3R
23
17
14
13
12
10
9
8
6
6
Juan Carlos Ferrero
Guillermo Coria
Agustin Calleri
Roger Federer
Carlos Moya
Felix Mantilla
Nikolay Davydenko
Julien Boutter
Yevgeny Kafelnikov
Andy Roddick
WON
SF
1R
1R
QF
4R
2R
1R
2R
1R
17
16
10
10
8
8
8
7
7
6
6
5
Guillermo Coria
Carlos Moya
David Nalbandian
Roger Federer
Marat Safin
Tommy Robredo
Nikolay Davydenko
Rainer Schuettler
Albert Montanes
Juan Ignacio Chela
Fernando Verdasco
Gaston Gaudio
FINAL
QF
SF
3R
4R
4R
1R
1R
DNP
QF
2R
WON
2005
28
16
12
11
11
10
9
9
6
6
6
6
Rafael Nadal
Guillermo Coria
Roger Federer
Nikolay Davydenko
Richard Gasquet
David Ferrer
Gaston Gaudio
Juan Carlos Ferrero
Mariano Puerta
David Nalbandian
Filippo Volandri
Igor Andreev
WON
4R
SF
SF
3R
QF
4R
3R
FINAL
4R
3R
3R
18 of the previous 22 years, the French Open winner has been one of the top seven players in the warmups.  
While it is uncommon for the favorite to win - at least before Nadal - the winner usually does not come out
of nowhere.

The three years where the RG champ was missing from the above lists, he was
really missing.  As in he
didn't have
any clay warmup points.  Zero.   Understand that in any given year about 45 players receive at
least one point, even for a measly SF in Atlanta or somewhere.  But Courier (1991), Kuerten (1997), and
Agassi (1999) had none.

Three 'Out of Nowhere' Champs

1991 - Jim Courier   Had shown a bit of clay promise the year before in 1990, winning a couple rounds at
each of the Super 9 clay events and reaching the round of 16 in Paris before being routed by Agassi.  In the
spring of 1991 he proved he was an elite player -- on hardcourts:  first taking #1 Edberg to five sets in
Australia, then sweeping Indian Wells and Key Biscayne.  He entered just Hamburg and Rome as tuneups for
Paris, and did not distinguish himself, going 2-2.  But Jim and his ugly backhand stormed into Paris and took
out Edberg, Stich, and Agassi en route to his first Slam.


1997 - Gustavo Kuerten   Guga's clay record that spring:

February
- Loses two Davis Cup ties on home soil to Courier and MaliVai Washington.

April
- Estoril: d. Meligeni (someone he had no doubt practiced with many times); l. to Clavet.  Pairs up with
Meligeni to win the doubles title.  
- Barcelona: l. to qulalifier Portas, then ranked #133.
- Monte Carlo:  As the #1 qualifying seed, makes it to main draw, but loses to Dosedel.
- Prague:  d. Pavel, l. to Santoro.

May
- Hamburg: l. to Fromberg.
- Skips Rome, returns home to Brazil.  Wins Curitiba challenger, defeating five players ranked below #150.

June
- Returns to Europe full of confidence (who wouldn't be confident after winning Curitiba?) and storms
through the field in Paris, taking out Muster (6-4 in the fifth), Medvedev (7-5 in the fifth), Kafelnikov (6-4
in the fifth), and Bruguera (straight sets), thus defeating holders of the previous four RG titles.  
Gugamania ensues.


1999 - Andre Agassi   Coming off an excellent year in 1998 with five titles, but had done very poorly in the
slams; at Roland Garros had lost in the first round to the relatively unknown Russian Marat Safin.  In 1999:

January
- Australian Open:  routs his first three opponents without losing a set, loses to Spadea in round four.

February
- San Jose:  defaults from his match with Cecil Mamiit for using an 'audible obscenity'.

March
- Scottsdale:  retires from his SF match with Gambill with shoulder trouble.  
- Indian Wells:  withdraws.
- Key Biscayne:  loses first round to Hrbaty.

April
- Hong Kong:  takes title, defeating semi-retired Becker in a rain-delayed Monday final.  Around this time it
hits the press that Agassi and Brooke Shields have filed for a divorce.

May
- Skips all clay tournaments until Rome.  Manages to d. Berasategui in round two but then loses to Rafter.  
Complains of shoulder trouble again.  Enters the World Team Cup clay round-robin; playing his first match
with Escude he retires in the first set.  Tells his coach Brad Gilbert that he is thinking of withdrawing from
the French Open.  Gilbert tells him to suck it up and play.

June
- Roland Garros:  two points from losing to Clement in round two, Agassi wins; down a set and two breaks to
defending champ Moya in round four, Agassi wins; down two sets and break point in the third to Medvedev in
the final, Agassi wins to complete the career grand slam and receives the trophy from Rod Laver.

--------------------------

In both 2002 and 2003 Federer infamously flamed out after showing such promise in the warmups.  Who
else has exited Garros early after a good clay warmup season?

Biggest RG First Round Exits

18  1991  Karel Novacek
18  1995  Goran Ivanisevic
17  1990  Emilio Sanchez
14  2003  Agustin Calleri
13  1992  Sergi Bruguera
13  1993  Ivan Lendl
13  2001  Albert Portas
13  2003  Roger Federer
11  1999  Mariano Zabaleta
10  1994  Javier Sanchez
10  1996  Roberto Carretero
10  2002  Roger Federer

-------------------------------------

Next - the flip side of the above charts:  how did the players who fared well in Paris do in the warmups?
2006
28
17
14
11
10
10
8
6
6
6
6
6
Rafael Nadal
Tommy Robredo
Roger Federer
Nicolas Almagro
David Nalbandian
Nikolay Davydenko
Radek Stepanek
Mario Ancic
Olivier Rochus
Fernando Gonzalez
Daniele Bracciali
Gilles Simon
WON
4R
FINAL
2R
SF
QF
3R
QF
3R
2R
1R
1R
Clay Warmups 1990-2011
2007
35
17
10
9
8
8
8
8
7
6
Rafael Nadal
Roger Federer
Novak Djokovic
Fernando Gonzalez
Paul-Henri Mathieu
Philipp Kohlschreiber
Nicolas Almagro
Tomas Berdych
David Ferrer
Richard Gasquet
WON
FINAL
SF
1R
3R
2R
2R
1R
3R
2R
2008
28
22
18
13
12
10
7
6
5
5
Rafael Nadal
Roger Federer
Novak Djokovic
David Ferrer
Nikolay Davydenko
Stanislas Wawrinka
Nicolas Almagro
Fernando Gonzalez
Tommy Robredo
Denis Gremelmayr
WON
FINAL
SF
QF
3R
3R
QF
QF
3R
1R
2009
35
24
14
8
7
7
7
6
6
6
6
Rafael Nadal
Novak Djokovic
Roger Federer
Albert Montanes
Fernando Gonzalez
Nikolay Davydenko
Fernando Verdasco
Juan Martin del Potro
Andy Murray
Juan Carlos Ferrero
Tomas Berdych
4R
3R
WON
1R
SF
QF
4R
SF
QF
2R
1R
2010
30
21
18
10
9
8
8
7
6
6
5
Rafael Nadal
Fernando Verdasco
David Ferrer
Stanislas Wawrinka
Roger Federer
Albert Montanes
Sam Querrey
Ernests Gulbis
Mikhail Youzhny
Novak Djokovic
Robin Soderling
WON
4R
3R
4R
QF
3R
1R
1R
QF
QF
FINAL
2011
32
26
14
8
7
6
6
6
6
6
Rafael Nadal
Novak Djokovic
David Ferrer
Andy Murray
Nicolas Almagro
Roger Federer
Juan Martin del Potro
Florian Mayer
Nikolay Davydenko
Pablo Andujar
WON
SF
4R
SF
1R
FINAL
3R
2R
2R
2R