In what is set to be a dream fixture for every tennis fan, two of the most successful stars of the game – Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal – will take to the court in an epic showdown in the semifinals of the French Open semi-finals. While Spain’s Nadal earned the penultimate clash following a clinical victory over Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-1, 6-1, 6-3, Switzerland’s Federer defeated Stan Wawrinka 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.
Tennis fans on social media were ecstatic at the prospect that this fixture offers. Here are some posts:
The 37-year-old Federer will try to beat the 33-year-old Spaniard on the latter’s favourite surface as he attempts to win his 12th French Open title. If successful, he will also become the player with the most wins in a single Grand Slam event, breaking a tie with Australia’s Margaret Court, who won the Australian Open 11 times between 1960 and 1973.
“Now I have the match with Rafa, and I’m clearly excited,” Federer, the winner of a record 20 Grand Slam singles titles and the oldest player to make it to a quarterfinal at a major. American Jimmy Connors was the oldest to have made it at the US Open in 1991.
Nadal and Federer are no strangers to huge matches, having battled each other in what many consider the greatest match of all time, the 2008 Wimbledon final that the Spaniard took on the Swiss great’s favourite surface.
The two superstars last met at Roland Garros in the 2011 final, a match that Nadal, known as “The King of Clay” won.
Nadal said playing Federer was always a challenge and he would be ready.
“Of course, having Roger in front in the semifinals is an extra thing. We shared the most important moments of our careers together on court, facing each other. So (it’ll) be another episode, and (I’m) happy for that and excited. It will be (a) special moment, and let’s try to be ready for it,” Nadal said.
Nadal and Federer had to deal with a suspension of play due to rain that lasted about an hour.
The Spaniard was leading Nishikori 6-1, 6-1, 4-2 when play was halted, while Federer and Wawrinka had a score of 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 3-3 when play was halted.
When play resumed, Federer and Nadal took care of business, putting away their opponents and setting up their semifinal’s clash on the red clay of Roland Garros.