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French Open PIX: Nadal blows away Federer to reach 12th final

Last updated on: June 07, 2019 22:49 IST

Djokovic-Thiem semi-final called off in rain.

Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates after defeating Switzerland's Roger Federer in their men's singles semi-final match at Roland Garros in Paris on Friday

IMAGE: Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates after defeating Switzerland's Roger Federer in their men's singles semi-final match at Roland Garros in Paris on Friday. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Before this French Open semi-final match-up it had been all about the dizzying numbers and statistics, but once great foes Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal stepped on to the Roland Garros centre court, all that mattered was both men's preternatural ability to strike a small yellow ball.

The second semi-final clash between world number one Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem was called off for the day because of bad weather and will resume at 1200 local time (1000GMT) on Saturday, organisers said on Friday.

Thiem was leading 6-2, 3-6, 3-1 when rain stopped play for the second time at 1740 local time (1540GMT).

Organisers said that ticket holders for that match would be refunded.

The final is still scheduled for Sunday, organisers told Reuters.

 

Meanwhile, on Friday, it was Nadal's swinging, looping, whip-crack style which prevailed over Federer's finesse and near-perfect timing as he reached his 12th Roland Garros final 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.

Roger Federer was made to sweat a bit by Rafael Nadal

IMAGE: Roger Federer was made to sweat a bit by Rafael Nadal. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

The Spaniard had never lost to Federer in their five previous French Open meetings, but hadn't beaten the Swiss in their last five matches overall, a run stretching back five years.

Something had to give.

But for all the anticipation, in the event it was Federer's winning streak that gave way -- with no little brutality.

Spain's Rafael Nadal shields himself from the clay kicking up in the wind

IMAGE: Spain's Rafael Nadal shields himself from the clay kicking up in the wind. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Simply put, the swirling, gusty winds  inside Court Philippe Chatrier far better suited the Spaniard's style which has more safety built in, his heavily topspun shots clearing the net by some distance, and it resulted in his most one-sided grand slam triumph over Federer since beating him 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 here in 2008.

Roger Federer stretches to play a backhand during his men's singles semi-final match against Rafael Nadal

IMAGE: Roger Federer stretches to play a backhand during his men's singles semi-final match against Rafael Nadal. Photograph: Clive Mason/Getty Images

"It's incredible, congratulations to Roger," Nadal said on court at the end.

"It's incredible to play at that level aged 37.

"He's probably the best player in history, it's a great pleasure to play with him. Tough conditions with a lot of wind, I'm very happy to be back in the final at Roland Garros which is the most important tournament in my career."

Rafael Nadal is congratulated by and Roger Federer at the net

IMAGE: Rafael Nadal is congratulated by and Roger Federer at the net. Photograph: Clive Mason/Getty Images

Nadal's triumph gives him a shot of moving closer to Federer’s men’s record of 20 Grand Slam titles. The Spaniard sits on 17.

To do so, however, he may need to beat world number one Novak Djokovic who himself is on 15 Grand Slam titles. The Serb meets Austrian fourth seed Dominic Thiem later on Friday.

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