first_img Next Reuters ParisJune 5, 2019UPDATED: June 5, 2019 09:41 IST Roger Federer excited to try and solve Rafael Nadal puzzle. (AP Photo)HIGHLIGHTSRoger Federer has reached the semi-final on his return to French Open11-time champion Rafael Nadal eased past Kei Nishikori to the semi-finalI have the match with Rafa, and I’m clearly excited: FedererRoger Federer has never solved the riddle of playing Rafael Nadal at the French Open but still believes he can find the answer when the pair clash for the 39th time in Friday’s semi-final.The Swiss have suffered five French Open defeats by the marauding Mallorcan, four in finals and once in the 2005 semi-final when Nadal burst through as teenager to win the first of his 11 titles on the Parisian clay.The last time Federer beat Nadal anywhere on clay was in Madrid in 2009, one of only two times he has got the better of him on the Spaniard’s favorite surface.”I knew that when I signed up for the clay that hopefully that’s gonna happen (play against Nadal),” the 37-year-old Federer told reporters after his 7-6(4) 4-6 7-6(5) 6-4 victory over fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka on Tuesday.”Like against any player, there is always a chance. Otherwise, nobody will be in the stadium to watch because everybody already knows the result in advance.”You just never know. He might have a problem. He might be sick. You never know. You might be playing great or for some reason, he’s struggling.”That’s why you need to put yourself in that position. Now I have the match with Rafa, and I’m clearly excited. I hope I can recover well in the next couple of days, which I’m sure I will, and I’ll give it my best shot on Friday.”Federer has played superbly on his first appearance at the French Open since 2015 and crucially he has avoided having any marathon battles on route to face Nadal.advertisementThe 2009 champion breezed through his first four rounds without dropping a set before stepping up a level to fend off Wawrinka in a high-quality contest.He will need another level, or two, against left-hander Nadal whose vicious topspin game has given him mastery over Federer at Roland Garros where he has never even been taken to five sets by the Swiss maestro.He is relishing the challenge though, having not played Nadal at the French Open since 2011 when he lost in four sets.”I’m looking forward to the test,” he said. “You have to be fearless to some extent to take on the spinny balls, the sliding balls, the kicking balls, and that’s what I will do on Friday.”Also Read | Andy Murray to play doubles at Queen’s ClubAlso Read | French Open 2019: Djokovic eases into quarters, Nishikori battles past PaireAlso SeeFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAkshay Ramesh Tags :Follow Roger FedererFollow Rafael NadalFollow French Open French Open 2019: Federer excited about Nadal clash, ready to give his best shotFrench Open 2019: Roger Federer came up with a stunning effort against fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka in Tuesday’s quarter-final, beating him 7-6(4) 4-6 7-6(5) 6-4 to set up a semi-final clash with Rafael Nadal.advertisementlast_img

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