PARIS — Rafael Nadal made quick work of Roger Federer in their first French Open meeting since 2011, beating his rival 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 Friday in strong wind to reach his 12th final at Roland Garros.
Nadal has never lost a semifinal at the clay-court Grand Slam tournament. Never lost a final, either.
And he’s never lost to Federer in Paris, improving to 6-0. Overall, Nadal leads their series 24-15. Federer had won their past five meetings, but those were all on hard courts.
It’s a whole different task to take on Nadal on clay, in general, and at the French Open, in particular, where his one victory away from a 12th championship, which would be more than any man or woman has won at any of the Grand Slam tournaments.
In Sunday’s final, the No. 2-seeded Nadal will take on either No. 1 Novak Djokovic or No. 4 Dominic Thiem.
This was the first time since 2011 the four top-seeded men were in the semifinals at Roland Garros.