Rafael Nadal beat Roger Federer 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in the French Open semifinals on Friday in their first meeting at Roland Garros since 2011.
No. 2 seed Nadal now has beaten No. 3 seed Federer six times in the French Open and improved to 92-2 on the famed clay courts.
“It’s always a tough match against Roger,” Nadal said. “It was tough conditions with the wind. I’m happy to have the chance to play another final here. It’s the most important tournament in my career.”
Nadal will be looking for his 12th title in 12 French Open finals and his 18th Grand Slam title overall.
Playing in wet, windy conditions had an effect, Federer said afterward.
“I think the first set was mostly about getting used to conditions,” Federer said. “It was incredibly windy. Especially for a big match like this for both of us, it’s just really complicated. So you’re trying to see how much can you do or can you not do? Are you playing flatter or with more spin? Are you keeping the ball in play? Are you going for stuff? I think that was basically the story of the first set, more or less.”
The 33-year-old Nadal has a 24-15 edge in the all-time series against the 37-year-old Federer, including a 14-2 advantage on clay courts and a 6-0 mark at the French Open.
Federer, competing in Paris for the first time since 2015, had won the past five matches in the rivalry and hadn’t lost to the Spanish star since the 2014 Australian Open semifinals.
Federer is the second-oldest man to make the semifinals here, trailing only 40-year-old Pancho Gonzales in 1968. The 20-time Grand Slam singles champion won his only French Open title in 2009.
In the other semifinal match, No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic faces No. 4 Dominic Thiem in a match that was suspended in the third set due to weather.
–Field Level Media