Roger Federer v Rafael Nadal is sport we should savour

When Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer square off overnight in the men's semifinals at Roland Garros, it will be their 39th career meeting. The world no. 3 has defeated the Spaniard on clay only twice in his career. Considering the recent form of Federer, it is believed that Nadal is unlikely to win in the match.

Federer recalled the occasion vividly in the aftermath of Wawrinka's remarkable five-hour, five-set win over Stefanos Tsitsipas in the fourth round.

"You have to play extremely well". Spain's Rafael Nadal hits his harm on the TV camera wire as he celebrates after winning his fourth round match against Argentina's Juan Ignacio Londero.

"I was, like, 'Oh my God, her backhand down the line is so good, and she was taking her time, and then I think I was mimicking it in my match".

Nadal was far from his best that day in 2009.

Halep is one of only two women left in the draw who already own a major title.

PARIS (Reuters) - Kei Nishikori extinguished the hot-headed Benoit Paire's fiery challenge to book his place in the quarter-finals of the French Open with an error-strewn 6-2 6-7 (8) 6-2 6-7 (8) 7-5 victory on Monday.

That said, the 33-year-old Nadal "doesn't look quite the player he was", Calvert continued. He said, "For me to get to Rafa is not simple". Dropshots, high balls, fast balls, always something different.

Wawrinka is playing his best tennis since returning from knee surgery 18 months ago. But the Swiss master's willingness to still put himself on the line, get tangled in these kinds of bruising battles, is what has earned him his 44th Grand Slam semi-final.

During their historic rivalry, Nadal holds a 13-2 advantage over Federer in matches played on clay, including a 5-0 record at the French Open.

"There is no surprise anymore in what we are doing", the 24th-ranked Wawrinka said of Federer, whose 7-6 (4), 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 victory set up a blockbuster Friday semifinal against Nadal.

Now he stands at 20 out of 55 for the tournament (36%) compared to Nadal's 31/54 (57% conversion rate). This tournament will be the second match between the two.

Despite the weight of history counting against the 20-time major victor, Federer insists Friday's outcome is not a foregone conclusion. So I think this meeting will be the first where Roger just goes in and lets it fly.

The 37-year-old hopes to play freely in the semifinals against the "king of clay".

"You just never know". He might have a problem. "Credit to him, playing great tennis this week". "Maybe there's incredible wind, rain, 10 rain delays".

The Swiss in Paris in the spring for the first time since falling to Wawrinka in the quarterfinals in 2015, is aware that his biggest test on clay is just around the corner.

He cruised through his opening four rounds without dropping a set but knew a rejuvenated Wawrinka, approaching his best again after knee surgery in 2017, would be a risky beast.

  • Julie Sanders