June 2019
8:46 PM IST
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Federer, Nadal set up blockbuster clash in French Open semis
PARIS: Roger Federer beat Swiss compatriot Stan Wawrinka in four sets to face Rafael Nadal in an entertaining men''s singles semifinal, their 39th career head-to-head, at the French Open here on Tuesday. Despite winning only two of 18 break points, third-seeded Federer overcame Wawrinka 7-6 (4), 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 in three hours and 35 minutes. "I''m very happy. Number one, to be back in another semifinals of a Grand Slam. It did not happen last year or so. I had some tough losses in fourth rounds or quarters.

From that standpoint, I exceeded my expectations here," said the 37-year-old Federer after reaching his eighth French Open semifinal. As for the eye-catching semifinal, Federer said, "Of course I''ll follow my schedule and game plan, what does my game allow me to do and what are the conditions like. But with Rafa''s strengths particularly on clay, you have to be aware of who you''re playing against." "Like against any player, there is always a chance," he added. Nadal swept No 7 seed Kei Nishikori 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 for a record-extending 12th French Open semifinal. "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," commented Nadal, who leads the head-to-head 23-15. After moving past seventh-seeded Sloane Stephens 6-1, 6-4, Johanna Konta became the first British woman to reach the French Open semifinals since Jo Durie in 1983. She will next face 19-year-old Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic. Vondrousova continued to refresh her personal best at Grand Slams with a 7-6 (1), 7-5 victory over Petra Martic. Duan Yingying and Zheng Saisai got past their fellow Chinese Xu Yifan and Canada''s Gabriela Dabrowski 6-2, 5-7, 7-5 to reach women''s doubles semifinals.

But another Chinese player Zhang Shuai underwent a gloomy day, as she lost the women''s doubles quarterfinals with Samantha Stosur of Australia to Kristina Mladenovic and Timea Babos 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (3) in a rematch of the Australian Open final this year. Then Zhang and another Australian partner John Peers conceded a 1-6, 7-5, 10-8 defeat to Gabriela Dabrowski and Mate Pavic in mixed doubles quarterfinals.

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