Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer haven't met since Wimbledon 2019. Since the early stages of the previous season, the Swiss has been struggling with a knee injury, skipping almost 13 months and undergoing two surgeries in February and May last year.
In March, Roger returned to action in Doha, playing two matches and taking another break before stepping on the court in Genevas this week. Competing in his third match since January last year, Federer built a 4-2 advantage in the deciding set against Pablo Andujar in the second round before losing four straight games to propel the opponent into the quarters.
Seeking form and matches ahead of Halle and Wimbledon, Federer will try his luck at Roland Garros in June, returning to Paris for the first time in two years and hoping for another deep run like in 2019. The Roland Garros tournament director Guy Forget believes Roland Garros will help Roger build his confidence and form ahead of his beloved grass swing where he wants to chase titles.
Forget also mentioned that Federer could meet his old rival Rafael Nadal in the second week, which would be huge for all the tennis fans. Nadal and Federer had met five times in Paris between 2005-2011, with Federer winning only four sets overall.
After eight years, Rafa and Roger were the rivals on the Parisian clay again in the semis two years ago. Rafa beat Roger 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in two hours and 25 minutes, advancing into the 12th Roland Garros. It was Nadal's 14th win on clay against Federer from 16 matches and tenth in 13 Major encounters, moving into the title clash against Dominic Thiem.
Losing the previous five duels against Roger and seeking the first win since the Australian Open 2014, Rafa was determined to finally outplay a great rival and extend his Parisian dominance, securing the 92nd triumph from 94 matches at his favorite tournament!
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer will compete at the upcoming Roland Garros.
Nadal hit 33 winners and 19 unforced errors, facing four break chances and getting broken only twice to mount the pressure on the other side. Roger needed much more than that to challenge the greatest clay-courter in his first semi-final in Paris since 2012, firing 25 winners and 34 errors on a windy day.
The Spaniard converted six out of 16 break opportunities to control the scoreboard, defending superbly and finding an open court from challenging positions to neutralize Roger's attacks and keep the Swiss outside the comfort zone as much as possible.
Nadal and Federer will be among eight top seeds, with a potential clash between two tennis giants set from the quarter-final round or later. "Roger Federer competing at Roland Garros seems logical to me. It will allow him to test himself and his current level.
Clay is a vivid surface that requires you to be precise in everything you do. The better Federer plays at Roland Garros, the better he will be at Wimbledon. If Rafael Nadal hadn't existed, Roger Federer would have won five or six Roland Garros titles, I'm sure about that. We could see the clash between Nadal and Federer in the second week," Guy Forget said.