Nadal Rolls Past Nishikori, Federer Edges Past Wawrinka to Set Up Roland Garros Semifinal Showdown
(June 4, 2019) Friday in Paris will be the 39th meeting between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer when they face-off in the semifinals of Roland Garros.
Rafael Nadal had no problems on Tuesday, dismantling seventh seed Kei Nishikori 6-1, 6-1, 6-3, while Roger Federer advanced with a 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 test over Stan Wawrinka, both matches being interrupted by an hour rain delay.
Nadal is back in the French Open final four for a record 12th time. “To be back in the semifinals is something very, very important,” Nadal said.
“I’m very happy, number one, to be back in another semifinals of a Grand Slam. It hasn’t happened in the past year or so,” noted Federer after the 3-hour and 35-minute match. Federer last played the French Open back in 2015, where he was beaten by eventual winner Wawrinka in the quarterfinals.
“After missing the French for so many years, it’s nice to be back in the semis, so that’s a great feeling,” noted the Swiss.
Nadal has won all five times that he’s played Federer at the French Open which includes four finals and one semifinal.
Federer won the last five times he’s recently played Nadal, the most recent coming in 2017 in Shanghai.
The Spaniard leads the overall head-to-head competition 23-15.
“Now I have the match with Rafa, and I’m clearly excited,” Federer said on facing 11-time champion Nadal. “I hope I can recover well in the next couple days, which I’m sure I will, and I’ll give it my best shot on Friday.”
“The way that I have been playing has been very positive,” said Nadal. “Of course, after having Roger in front in the semifinals is an extra thing. We shared the most important moments of our careers together on court, facing each other. So [it will] be another episode, and [I am] happy for that and excited. It will be [a] special moment, and let’s try to be ready for it.”
“I really expect that he is going to play aggressive, changing rhythms, going to the net. That’s my feeling, that he is going try to play that way, because he’s playing well and he has the tennis to make that happen,” said the 17-time major champion.