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Nadal expects Federer onslaught in French Open semi-final

Updated : 2019-06-07 10:27:18

Rafael Nadal is braced for an all-out assault from Roger Federer when the two great rivals meet at Roland Garros for the first time in eight years in Friday's French Open semi-final. Although Federer has won the last five meetings in their 38-match rivalry, none of them were on the Spaniard's beloved clay. In their five previous meetings at Roland Garros, including four finals, Federer has never managed more than one set. Despite being generally regarded as the greatest player of all time, 20-times Grand Slam champion Federer has never fathomed a way of suppressing the marauding Mallorcan at Roland Garros. Nadal, bidding for a record-extending 12 titles, believes the Swiss will be coming at him with all guns blazing after a comfortable passage to the last four. Federer, bidding to win the title for the second time, 10 years after he beat Robin Soderling to claim his sole French Open crown, has only dropped one set on his return to Roland Garros, having missed the last three French Opens. Nadal has been equally dominant and obliterated Kei Nishikori with an awesome show of force in the quarter-finals. With only two wins from their previous 15 claycourt meeting Federer knows he must bring something different to the party and says he will adopt a "fearless" approach to try to get the better of his Roland Garros nemesis. Should he manage it, it would be arguably one of the greatest feats of his sensational career.

Switzerland's Roger Federer reacts during his quarterfinal match against Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka in French Open at Roland Garros, Paris, France - June 4, 2019. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler/Files
Switzerland's Roger Federer reacts during his quarterfinal match against Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka in French Open at Roland Garros, Paris, France - June 4, 2019. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler/Files
Spain's Rafael Nadal plays a shot to Switzerland's Roger Federer during their final of the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris June 11, 2006. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler (FRANCE)
Spain's Rafael Nadal plays a shot to Switzerland's Roger Federer during their final of the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris June 11, 2006. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler (FRANCE)
Switzerland's Roger Federer serves to Spain's Rafael Nadal during the men's finals of the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris June 10, 2007. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir (FRANCE)
Switzerland's Roger Federer serves to Spain's Rafael Nadal during the men's finals of the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris June 10, 2007. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir (FRANCE)
Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates after defeating Roger Federer of Switzerland during their men's final at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris June 5, 2011. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler
Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates after defeating Roger Federer of Switzerland during their men's final at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris June 5, 2011. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler
Top seed Roger Federer of Switzerland hits a forehand to fourth seed Rafael Nadal of Spain during their men's semi-final match in the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris June 3, 2005. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir ABP/KS
Top seed Roger Federer of Switzerland hits a forehand to fourth seed Rafael Nadal of Spain during their men's semi-final match in the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris June 3, 2005. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir ABP/KS
Spain's Rafael Nadal hits a return to Switzerland's Roger Federer during their men final at the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris June 8, 2008. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir (FRANCE) also see: PM1E486193U01
Spain's Rafael Nadal hits a return to Switzerland's Roger Federer during their men final at the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris June 8, 2008. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir (FRANCE) also see: PM1E486193U01
Rafael Nadal of Spain shakes hands with Roger Federer of Switzerland after winning their men's final at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris June 5, 2011. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler/Files
Rafael Nadal of Spain shakes hands with Roger Federer of Switzerland after winning their men's final at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris June 5, 2011. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler/Files
Spectators leave a court during Spain's Rafael Nadal quarterfinal match against Japan's Kei Nishikori in French Open at Roland Garros, Paris, France - June 4, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/Files
Spectators leave a court during Spain's Rafael Nadal quarterfinal match against Japan's Kei Nishikori in French Open at Roland Garros, Paris, France - June 4, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/Files
Rafael Nadal (ESP) in action during a match against Kei Nishikori (JAP) on day 10 of the 2019 French Open at Stade Roland Garros in French Open at Roland Garros, Paris, France - June 4, 2019. Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports/Files
Rafael Nadal (ESP) in action during a match against Kei Nishikori (JAP) on day 10 of the 2019 French Open at Stade Roland Garros in French Open at Roland Garros, Paris, France - June 4, 2019. Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports/Files
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