French Open 2019: Rafael Nadal dismantles Roger Federer to enter record 12th final at Roland Garros
Rafael Nadal showed us exactly why he’s ‘The King of Clay’ with a masterful display against Roger Federer in the semifinal of the 2019 French Open. Nadal secured a straight-sets victory to book his seat in the final, where he will play the winner of the match between Dominic Thiem and Novak Djokovic.
The blustery conditions in Paris was a huge cause for concern for both players as they took to the court for the 39th time in their careers. Swirling winds kicked up clay and hampered vision, causing a lot of discomfort during the first set. Both players were often caught reaching for the ball, which led to a ton of unforced errors.
However, Nadal was quick off the blocks and raced to a 3-0 lead. After the change of ends, Federer broke back to send the crowd into delirium. They certainly wanted a hard fought battle between the players and it was obvious that Federer needed to win the first set to stay competitive in the match.
However, the Spaniard was better equipped to deal with the conditions on offer and broke again to seize the advantage. He finished the set 6-3 with a killer backhand cross-court, a shot that would hold him in good stead for the rest of the match!
The second set began well for Federer. He jumped ahead on the scoreboard, breaking serve and taking a 2-0 lead. However, the Swiss failed to capitalize on the break and conceded the very next service game to the highly motivated Spaniard. Nadal broke Federer once more in the 9th game of the set, eventually closing it out 6-4.
The loss of the second set broke Federer’s resilience. He barely managed to scrape through the first game of the third set, clinging on after multiple deuces. Nadal, on the other hand, won his first service game to love. He then went on to break Federer’s serve twice in quick succession. The 20-time Slam champion managed just one more game before Nadal secured the victory 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 to book his place in Sunday’s final.
Having lost five consecutive encounters to Federer, Nadal was determined to turn the tide at his most-beloved tournament. He is certainly the favourite to win the title, although both Thiem and Djokovic are enjoying great clay seasons and are capable of testing the Spaniard.