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  • Chris Sobey

Tennis


The men’s 2019 French Open at Roland Garros is now down to the semi-finals stage and the first match is another classic Grand Slam encounter between legends, second seed and defending champion Nadal and third seed Federer. This will be their fourteenth head-to-head encounter, Nadal has a commanding 23-16 lead and even better on clay 12-2, but Federer has won the last five matches, which were all on hard courts, between 2015 and 2017.

Nadal has cruised through to this stage winning all five of his matches this fortnight comfortably in straight sets while Federer dropped his first set of the tournament last time out beating compatriot Wawrinka in a tense four set quarter final win. Nadal has owned this tournament over the last decade and based on their past encounters on the red dirt of Roland Garros it’s hard to oppose him today and I think the best Federer can hope for is to win a set off the King of Clay.

The men’s seeding system has worked out perfectly this year as the top four seeds are contesting the semi-finals and the other semi is between top seed Djokovic and 2018 finalist and fourth seed Thiem. They both impressed winning their quarter finals against fifth seed Zverev and tenth seed Khachanov respectively in straight sets and this will be there ninth head-to-head encounter.

Djokovic leads the head-to-head 6-2 and 3-2 on clay, they have played each other twice at Roland Garros and Djokovic won their first encounter comfortably in straight sets back in 2016 but Thiem gained revenge in 2017 beating the world number one comfortably in straight sets. Djokovic won their last meeting on clay this year at the Madrid 1000 Masters Series 7-6 7-6 and this match will no doubt produce another highly competitive and entertaining encounter between the two.


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