Two greats of the sport will face off for a place in the French Open final when Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer play their semi-final on Friday.
The past decade or so has been dominated by the trio of Nadal, Federer, and Novak Djokovic. This year is no different, as Djokovic and Nadal faced off in the final in Melbourne in the first Grand Slam. The three of them are in the latter stages of the French Open as well. Federer’s run to the semi-final has been impressive considering his age. At 37 years, the Swiss have played some great tennis on the way to the semi-final.
Federer faced compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarter-final. The match was interrupted by bad weather, but Federer prevailed 7-6(4), 6-4, 7-6(5), 6-4. The first set was close, and Federer squeaked through in tie-break. Wawrinka fought back valiantly to win the second set. The third set was a crucial one, and Federer won it to seize control. He then won the fourth set despite an interruption in between.
This is Federer’s first Roland-Garros semi-final since 2012. He had not participated in the tournament for the last three editions, but he is back with his eye on the big prize. He has dropped just one set in the competition, which was against Wawrinka in the last game. The 20-time Grand Slam champion is looking to add to his tally, and an old foe stands in his way.
That old foe is Rafael Nadal. Arguably the greatest clay-court player of all time, Nadal is keen to add to his mammoth Roland-Garros record. He has won a record 11 titles at Roland-Garros. Nadal has lost just two times in his career at the tournament. He has earned it the last two times, and the Spaniard is the favorite this time as well. Just like Federer, he has also dropped only one set so far.
That was against David Goffin in the round of 32. Aside from that, it has been smooth sailing for the defending champion. Nadal faced Japanese Kei Nishikori in the quarter-final. His game was also interrupted by rain, but he cruised to a win nonetheless. Nadal claimed the victory in straight sets. His game was far more efficiently, which will give him an advantage if the match goes the distance.
The two have met 38 times before, and Nadal dominates the head to head record 23-15. However, Federer has held the upper hand in recent history. He has won their last six meetings. But Nadal has dominated on this surface, Federer has claimed just two wins on clay against his rival.
Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal Prediction
Nadal will go into the game as a slight favorite, but it will be a close contest. Both players will win a set at least in this one. Federer’s service will be his primary weapon, and he has used the serve-and-volley technique a lot this tournament. Nadal should get the win in four sets and progress to the final of the French Open.