Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Fed, Nadal to meet in French Open semi-final blockbuster



Fed, Nadal to meet in French Open semi-final blockbuster

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Roger Federer plays a backhand return to Swiss compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka during their men’s singles quarter-final match on day ten of The Roland Garros 2019 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on Tuesday. AFP

Fed, Nadal to meet in French Open semi-final blockbuster

Roger Federer set up a mouthwatering French Open semi-final clash with Rafael Nadal on Tuesday when he defeated Stan Wawrinka in four sets to become the oldest men’s Grand Slam semi-finalist in 28 years.

The 37-year-old Swiss beat his compatriot 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 to reach his 43rd major semi-final and eighth at Roland Garros.

Defending champion Nadal, bidding for a 12th French Open title, blitzed a weary Kei Nishikori 6-1, 6-1, 6-3.

Federer trails his head-to-head record with Nadal 23-15 – despite winning their last five matches – and 13-2 on clay.

The Spaniard has a 5-0 stranglehold over Federer at Roland Garros with Nadal winning their most recent Paris clash in the 2011 final.

“The complete dream would be to win the tournament,” said Federer. “Other players won’t agree. It will be difficult, but I believe it anyway.”

The 20-time Grand Slam champion is the oldest man to make the semis at one of the big four tournaments since Jimmy Connors at the 1991 US Open aged 39.

Wawrinka saved 16 of 18 break points in a thrilling encounter, but Federer quickly finished off the match after a rain delay to progress.

It is the third seed’s first appearance at the French Open since 2015 after taking time away from clay to focus on Wimbledon, but he has been in fine form in Paris and has only lost one set so far – as has Nadal.

Nadal, who turned 33 on Monday, is three behind Federer in the all-time list of Grand Slam singles titles heading into their 39th career clash. It will be Federer’s first Roland Garros semi-final since a defeat by Novak Djokovic in 2012.

The 2009 French Open champion struck 53 winners on Tuesday, as Wawrinka’s 61 unforced errors proved costly.

In a dramatic opening set on Court Suzanne Lenglen, Federer saved four break points before taking it in a tie-break.

Wawrinka saved all seven break points in the second set but suffered from a few jitters when serving to level the match, but took his fourth set point.

The topsy-turvy nature of the encounter continued in the third set, as Federer missed two set points before salvaging two break points himself after the players had earlier traded breaks.

Nadal thrashes Nishikori

Wawrinka held his nerve to force the quarter-final’s second tie-break, but Federer moved two sets to one in front on his fifth set point.

After the threat of thunderstorms and dark skies forced the players from the court with the fourth set level at 3-3, Federer returned refreshed 80 minutes later and sealed victory despite needing three match points to seal it.

Nadal took his record in Paris to 91 wins and just two defeats in a one-sided contest with Nishikori to reach his 31st Slam semi-final.

“It’s a great satisfaction to be in another semi-final, there are lots of emotions,” said Nadal. My level has been very good throughout the tournament and I am happy to be able to come back and play another day.”

Tuesday’s win was Nadal’s 11th in 13 meetings against Japanese seventh seed Nishikori who had played back-to-back five-setters to reach his third quarter-final at Roland Garros.

The 29-year-old Nishikori managed just nine winners in total in the first two sets and as the skies darkened over the city, so did Nishikori’s mood as he slipped 4-1 down in the third.

Even the weather delay didn’t help as Nadal needed just another eight minutes to finish the job.

Johanna Konta became the first British woman in 36 years to reach the semi-finals by sweeping past seventh-seeded Sloane Stephens, last year’s runner-up, 6-1, 6-4 to set up a tie against Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova.

The 28-year-old Konta has now emulated Jo Durie, who was the last British woman to make the French Open semi-finals in 1983.

“I’ve always said that whenever I step out onto the court, I’m always going to have a chance. I’m always going to have a shot,” said Konta.

The 19-year-old Vondrousova battled past Croatian 31st Petra Martic 7-6 (7/1), 7-5.

“She had beaten me four times before but I think Roland Garros must be my lucky place,” said the Czech after securing victory on a fourth match point.

MOST VIEWED

  • Restrictions re-imposed in capital as Covid cases surge

    Amid the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has shown no sign of subsiding with 750 infections and 10 deaths reported on June 2 alone, the Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has decided to re-impose the suspension of all occupations and business activities deemed as posing high risk of

  • Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway 51% complete

    The construction of the nearly $2 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway is 51.35 per cent complete and is expected to be finished in 2023, according to Ministry of Public Works and Transport secretary of state Vasim Sorya. Invested in by Cambodian PPSHV Expressway Co Ltd, the first expressway in

  • First 7-Eleven store to open mid-June, ambassador says

    Thai retail conglomerate CP All Pcl will open Cambodia’s first 7-Eleven convenience store in mid-June, Cambodian ambassador to Thailand Ouk Sorphorn told The Post on June 1. The Bangkok-listed 7-Eleven franchise operator, the retail arm of Charoen Pokphand Group Co Ltd, granted CP All (Cambodia)

  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • US embassy guard gets Covid despite two doses of Pfizer jab

    The Covid-19 tracking commission on June 4 said a security guard at the US embassy in Phnom Penh had contracted the novel coronavirus, despite having received a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot two weeks ago. Embassy spokesperson Chad Roedemeier confirmed the SARS-CoV-2 infection to The

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy