Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer will be providing tennis fans with a treat of a match-up in the semi-final of the 2019 French Open.
Indeed, both men won their quarter-final matches on Tuesday and impressed in their respective games.
As usual, Nadal was his brilliant self on the clay of Roland Garros, cruising past No.7 seed Kei Nishikori in style. Meanwhile, Federer joined his great rival in the semis after a tough match against the Swiss Stanislav Wawrinka.
With both Nadal, the defending champion, set on retaining his title, and Federer determined on clinching this oh-so-prized trophy, we’ve provided you with our top 10 Nadal vs Federer stats, to clue you up on all the betting action in the build-up to this heavyweight clash.
So, without further ado…
10) The King Of Clay
Nadal has a whopping 11 French Open titles under his belt already and is the undoubted king of clay when it comes to the French courts, remarkably only having lost two games when playing on it in his entire career.
Yet with a win this year, if he can hurdle the obstacle that is Federer, would break the record of titles held by a single player – that being Margaret Court at the Australian Open.
With such an accolade on the horizon, there is no doubt that Nadal’s incentive to emerge as the victor in the semi-final clash will rise.
9) A Tried And Tested Winning Formula
Nadal’s work on the clay court is a tried and tested method that has been a feature of his last five wins against Federer.
In all of his last five games, Federer’s preferred one-handed backhander has been nullified by the extra spin provided by the clay court, putting him on the back-foot as a result.
And with the ball traveling away from his hit zone, his opposite number has thrived and hit his way to a record-breaking winning record.
All evidence points to more of the same as the two greats of the game clash in the 2019 French Open.
8) Head To Head Record
Even the head-to-head record between the two sways in the favor of Nadal.
Indeed, the Spaniard holds a 23-15 advantage in all his time against Federer – even the last five games, despite the fact that none of those came on a clay court.
The last clash between the two in 2017 saw Federer win in straight sets, once again paying homage to his skill and experience.
7) A Star In The Making
Rewind back to May 23rd, 2005 – an 18-year old Rafa Nadal makes his tournament debut that day.
Spectators watching had no idea what the young Spaniard would become capable of as he graced the Bullring arena with his skill and prowess against Lars Burgsmuller.
But they certainly got a taste of it as the 18-year-old dismissed the German 6-1, 7-6, 6-1.
A roaring start to his career was on display, and a roaring end could be the perfect way to finish in the French Open against Federer.
6) A Close Game
Given that the pair have locked horns five times prior in French Open finals, it’s telling that four of those matches went to four sets, with only the 2008 final resulting in a whitewash.
It would be foolish to think that the king of clay will ease his way to a record-breaking victory- throughout the years Federer has shown adaptability to different court conditions and his unwavering skill and technique has developed enough over the last few years to suggest another close game will ensue.
5) Service Please
The Spaniard may be the favorite to win the 2019 French Open, but when it comes to holding serve there is no one better at it than Federer.
The 37-year-old has held his last 31 service games against Nadal, with the last time Nadal fought back coming in the 2017 Australian Open final.
And even then, while he broke Federer in the first game of the fifth set and eventually built a 3-1 lead, the Swiss still went on to win the last five games of the match for a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 victory and his 18th Grand Slam title.
4) Finding The Net
And sticking to the theme of serves, Federer’s quarter-final win over Wawrinka bought a more telling stat to life: he clinched 41 points at the net, to Wawrinka’s nine.
His faultless serving has often been the star of his performances and it would be foolish to rule him out, despite the clay court’s best efforts to nullify him.
The fact that he outplayed Wawrinka on the first and second serve tells you all you need to know, in case you feel like punting on the underdog.
3) A Host Of Records To Be Broken On Offer
The fact that Nadal is trying to become the first man to beat Federer 10 times in Grand Slam competitions says a lot about his development and rise to fame.
At the moment, the Spaniard sits at 9-3 against his opponent in majors and has the chance to make history on the biggest stage in tennis.
Yet if Federer does pull off the impossible, he’ll become the first man in the Open Era – and the third man in tennis history after Roy Emerson and Rod Laver – to win all four majors twice.
He would also become the oldest player to do so in both the history of the men’s and women’s sport.
2) The Best Against The Best
For all of Nadal’s superiority, Federer too has excellent major semifinal records.
Indeed, he holds a tally of 30-13, giving him a .698 winning percentage, meanwhile, his rival has a 25-5 record, with .833 as his percentage.
Both possess good statistics at the highest level of tennis – all the more reason not to write off the Swiss before a single ball has been served.
1) What The Form Books Say Can Be Flipped
With the pendulum wholeheartedly swinging towards Nadal, it bodes well to bear in mind that miracles on the French court have happened across the history of tennis.
From Court to Becker, there has been a steady rise in this renaissance, and should Nadal slip up, Federer will be in a position to do exactly the same as some of the most historic names that have come before him.