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Four major semi-finals, four wins - Nadal's perfect record against Federer

  • Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal contested a major semi-final for just the fourth time on Friday. We look back at those last-four clashes.
Modified 07 Jun 2019, 21:16 IST
NadalFederer - cropped
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer met in a grand slam semi-final for just the fourth time at the French Open on Friday.

The 'King of Clay' lived up to his billing on Court Philippe-Chatrier as he comprehensively defeated Federer 6-3 6-4 6-2 to end the impressive run of the Swiss, making his first appearance at Roland Garros since 2015.

Victory for Nadal extended his 100 per cent record against the 20-time major champion at the French Open - he was won all six of their meetings in Paris.

Nadal has also triumphed in every one of the pair's slam semi-finals. We take a look at how each of those matches unfolded.

2019 French Open: Nadal [2] bt Federer [3] 6-4 6-3 6-2

Nadal claimed his first win over Federer since 2014, ending a five-match losing streak to reach a 12th Roland Garros final.

The duo exchanged early breaks before the 17-time major champion converted his sixth chance in game six of the first set and went on to seal the opener with a stunning cross-court backhand.

Nadal immediately got the contest back on serve after faltering in game two of the second and the match was effectively decided when Federer failed to close out behind his own serve from 40-0 up in the ninth game.

The 37-year-old cut a frustrated figure thereafter as Nadal charged to victory, breaking twice in a one-sided decider.


2014 Australian Open: Nadal [1] bt Federer [6] 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 6-3

Nadal forced Federer onto the back foot in their third major semi-final, despite a blister on his playing hand.

The Spaniard missed three chances to break in the opening set but Federer, who sent a tame volley into the net before closing the deficit from 5-1 to 5-4, was unable to stop him edging in front.

Nadal took a medical time-out after racing through the first game of the second, though it did not stop him playing a stunning forehand into the corner to claim a crucial break for a 4-2 lead.

Federer, with Stefan Edberg in his box, cancelled out an early drop of serve in the fourth, before Nadal's irrepressible forehand took centre stage and led him to the final.

However, Stan Wawrinka stopped him becoming just the third man to win all four majors at least twice.

2012 Australian Open: Nadal [2] bt Federer [3] 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 7-6 (7-5) 6-4

Nadal confessed to having spent time before his opening match at Melbourne Park crying due to a knee injury, but he came from a set down to defeat Federer less than two weeks later.

Federer took the opening three games and although Nadal got the contest back on serve in the seventh with a sweet passing shot, it was the Swiss who came out on top in a tie-break.

However, after falling a break down in set two, Federer dropped his serve following a 10-minute pause in the action for Australia Day fireworks and the relentless Nadal restored parity.

Federer saved five set points before succumbing in a third-set tie-break and the Spaniard continued to apply the pressure, converting break point at the fifth attempt in game nine of the fourth.

Nadal served out the match to reach the final, which he lost to Novak Djokovic in five sets.

2005 French Open: Nadal [4] bt Federer [1] 6-3 4-6 6-4 6-3

An elbow injury kept Nadal out of Roland Garros in 2003 and an ankle fracture sidelined him the following year, but the Spaniard, then just 19, certainly made his mark when he debuted in Paris.

By the time he went up against Federer he had already claimed five titles and 22 match wins on clay in the year. The Swiss struggled from the off on Court Philippe-Chatrier and dropped his serve four times in the opening set.

Nadal sent a backhand into the net as the world number one got back on level terms, but some crushing groundstrokes put the youngster back in command.

He eventually prevailed in four sets and went on to defeat Mariano Puerta in the final to become the youngest French Open winner since Michael Chang in 1989.

It was the start of his incredible love affair with La Coupe des Mousquetaires.

Published 07 Jun 2019, 21:16 IST
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