Rafael Nadal put on a masterclass against Roger Federer in the 2019 French Open semi-final as he thrashed the 20-time Grand Slam winner 6-3,6-4,6-2 to enter the final. Nadal has won the French Open a record 11 times and he is on course to make it a 12th French Open, cementing his legacy as the ultimate King of Clay. For Federer, he failed to beat Nadal in the French Open and his opportunity to win the French Open for the second time might be extinguished. Nadal will await the winner of the second semi-final between Dominic Thiem and Novak Djokovic. The Serb tennis player is chasing a calendar slam and is on course to become the second player in tennis history to win all four Grand Slams twice.
The last time Djokovic made the semi-finals was 2016 when he went on to win the title. He has a 6-2 career lead over Thiem and beat the Austrian in the Rome semi-finals in the run-up to Paris. Friday's clash between Nadal and Federer and the clash between Thiem and Djokovic is the first time the top four seeds have all reached the last four at a Grand Slam since the 2013 Australian Open.
Federer has won 20 Grand Slams and has won titles on all surfaces. His mastery has never been in doubt, especially in the grass courts of Wimbledon where he is supreme. At age 37, Federer continues to push the bar and dishes out a lesson to every tennis player.
Despite winning the career slam ahead of Nadal and Djokovic, there are plenty of fans who have doubted Federer’s ability on clay. The Swiss has never defeated Nadal in the French Open and his win in 2009 came against Robin Soderling, his opponent in the final who had managed to beat Nadal in the fourth round. Nadal has won six out of his 17 Grand Slam titles by defeating Federer when he was at his peak is staggering. The Spaniard left-hander is the only player to win the Golden slam, winning both the singles and doubles gold in 2008 Beijing and 2016 Rio Olympics.
Djokovic is the only player to have a positive head-to-head record against Federer and Nadal. Djokovic has a 28-25 record against Nadal which is 10-10 in Grand Slams. Against Federer, he has a 25-22 record including 9-6 in Grand Slams. Djokovic is one of the elite few who have defeated Nadal in the French Open, something which Federer has been unable to do. In 2015, Djokovic did the unthinkable and registered a win against the Spaniard, that too in straight sets. His superior head-to-head record against both opponents probably puts him a notch higher. His success against Nadal and Federer in all surfaces makes him exceptional.