Roger Federer: If you want to achieve something on clay, you have to go through Rafael Nadal

Roger Federer

The tennis world is gearing up for the latest Fedal installment with Roger Federer saying playing Rafael Nadal is “inevitable” if you want to win tournaments on clay.

Federer required four tight sets to see off his fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka in the French Open quarter-final while 11-time Roland Garros champion Nadal made light work of Kei Nishikori as he won in three sets.

It means Federer and Nadal will meet for a 39th time in their careers when they clash in the semi-final on Friday.

Nadal leads the head-to-head 23-15 and he has also won their five encounters at the French Open so it is hardly surprising that Federer knows he has an uphill task, but he is not giving up hope.

“Now I have the match with Rafa, and I’m clearly excited,” the 20-time Grand Slam champion said. “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.”

He added: “Facing Rafa, everybody knows it’s going to be tough. But you just never know. He might have a problem. He might be sick. You might be playing great or for some reason he’s struggling. Maybe there’s incredible wind or ten rain delays. That’s why you need to put yourself in that position.

“For me to get to Rafa is not simple. It took five matches here for me to win to get there. That’s why I’m very happy to play Rafa, because if you want to do or achieve something on the clay, inevitably, at some stage, you will go through Rafa, because he’s that strong and he will be there.

“I knew that when I signed up for the clay that hopefully that’s gonna happen. If I would have had a different mindset to avoid him, then I should not have played the clay. So I think by that mindset, I think it helped me to play so well so far this tournament.”

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