Paris: Rafa Nadal provided a masterclass on clay as he swept past Roger Federer to enter the final of the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros here, Friday.
Federer who is playing at Roland Garros after a gap of three years could only stand back and applaud as the Spaniard won 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 to book his place in the summit clash. Save for a brief period in the second set when Federer broke early for a 2-0 lead, Nadal was always in command. But Nadal broke immediately back in the third game and then again in the ninth game to close out the set.
In the third set, Nadal broke Federer twice to complete his masterclass en route to a convincing win. With the victory Nadal extended his streak on clay to 14-2 against Federer. He now waits the winner of the Novak Djokovic-Dominic Thiem match for his 12 French Open title at Roland Garros.
Federer, playing his first clay season in two years, produced some exceptional tennis which would have defeated any mortal. But then sadly he was up against the ‘god of clay’ and all his efforts were of no avail. Nadal always had that one more shot for him and Federer had to wilt.
“It’s incredible to play Roger at the Roland Garros – congratulations to him. He’s probably the best player in history for me,” the 33-year-old Spaniard said after the match.
“It’s always a tough match against Roger. It was tough conditions with the wind. I’m happy to have the chance to play another final here. It’s the most important tournament in my career,” added Nadal.