Rafael Nadal has too much for Roger Federer as he closes in on title number 12
In their 39th encounter, a dominant display from Rafael Nadal proved too much for his old adversary Roger Federer as the Swiss was defeated in straight sets 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 at the French Open.
It is Nadal’s first win over Federer since the 2014 Australian Open, ending a five year and five match losing streak.
The Swiss maestro, making his comeback at this year’s French Open, struggled to cope with the blustery conditions to begin with as unforced errors flew off the usually precise Federer racket.
Nadal, the defending champion, secured the early break and eventually wrapped up the first set 6-3.
It was clear Federer would not go down without a fight and he improved considerably in the second set as he adapted to the conditions.
Both players traded breaks of serve as Federer sought to level the match.
But Nadal refused to go away with some sensational cross-court forehands and silky skills at the net.
Federer tried to come to the net more and slice and dice his way through the Spaniard but Nadal was simply too good on his favourite surface for the Swiss as he secured a vital break to move 5-4 up in the second set.
Nadal served out the second set 6-4 and from then on Federer’s shoulders slumped as he knew his old rival was closing in on victory.
Chasing a record 12th French Open title, Nadal broke the 20-time Grand Slam champion twice in the third set which was enough to power him home to yet another final in Paris clinching it 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
“It’s incredible, congratulations to Roger. It’s incredible to play at that level aged 37”, as Nadal praised the Swiss’ efforts.
“He’s probably the best player in history, it’s a great pleasure to play with him. Tough conditions with a lot of wind, I’m very happy to be back in the final, the most important tournament in my career.”
As Federer was left to lick his wounds, he will be proud of an amazing French Open comeback that brought him a fabulous win against Stan Wawrinka taking him to the semi-finals and highlighting himself as one of the best four clay-court players in the world. Not bad for someone with so little match practice on this surface.
Meanwhile, the King of Clay will contest his 12th French Open final on Sunday against either his old nemesis Novak Djokovic or Austria’s Dominic Thiem.
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