2019 Roland Garros Semifinal: Nadal (2) vs Federer (3)

Winner?


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On a different note, see how much respect these 2 great champions have: https://www.atptour.com/en/news/federer-nadal-10-best-quotes

Federer & Nadal's 10 Best Quotes About Each Other

Nadal

"If he had played his best tennis, I would have had no chance. But that's what happens in tennis. If a player like me plays at a very, very good level and a top player like Roger doesn't play his best tennis, I can win." - 2004 Miami Open presented by Itau

“If he is playing very good, I have to play unbelievable. If not, it's impossible, especially if he's playing with good confidence. When he's 100 per cent, he's playing in another league. It's impossible to stop him.” - 2007 Nitto ATP Finals

“We have a great relationship all the time. Our relationship didn't change a lot since the beginning because it was always very respectful. The only way the relationship has improved is getting closer we spend more time together, always being in the [ATP Player] Council, being on court, playing exhibitions together. I don’t think it’s a rivalry. All these important moments in tennis make you appreciate it more.” - 2010 Nitto ATP Finals

“When you go on court against Roger…I go on court knowing that I am playing against a player that is unbelievable. What happened in the past probably will not help me. I take every match like a different history and every day is different.” - 2014 Australian Open

“It’s the combination of two different styles that makes the matches really special. Both of us have a different way to play tennis [and have] a lot of good success with these two different styles. I feel that this rivalry goes not only in the tennis world. People from outside of our world talk about it and that's good for our sport.” - 2017 Australian Open

Federer

“I just think he's an incredible tennis player. He's got shots that no other one has. When you have that, you are unique and special. Plus he's got the grit. He's got the mental and physical ability to sustain a super high level of play for years and for hours and for weeks. He's proven that time and time again. He's come back from many injuries time and time again. He made it seem easy, and it's not. I think he's been tremendous for the game. I have a lot of respect for him on many levels.” - 2017 Australian Open

“There are no draws in tennis, but I would have been happy to share this trophy with Rafa tonight.” - 2017 Australian Open

“It's not gonna happen. We don't have enough years left on the tour and we're ranked too good that we play each other only in finals at the moment…can’t win them all against Rafa, to be honest. He's too good of a player.” - Federer on whether he can take the lead in his FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry with Nadal, 2017 Rolex Shanghai Masters.

“I think he's definitely one of the guys that make me a better player. I don't want to thank him for that, but he made me maybe rework my game and go back to the practice courts and think about what I could change. I think for that, I'm happy about the losses I took.” - 2017 Rolex Shanghai Masters

“I think we are very different personalities or maybe also player types. The way we go about it is very different, but yet we both find a way to excel…I think it all adds to the cool rivalry that we had. And then you add all the foundation stuff we have had, promotional things we have done for the tour, political things…it’s been quite a journey with Rafa side by side.” - 2019 BNP Paribas Open

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Would love to see how Federer's post 2016 mindset he's had against Nadal will work on Philippe Chatrier and how Rafa handles/approaches Federer's serve, a shot that had been hurting him throughout the whole 2017.
Would be totally disappointed if Fed continues to employ the same old losing strategy of throwing junk at a guy who responds to it probably better than anyone in history. I've gotten the impression that Roger is hitting his forehand as heavy as ever during this tournament and finding some great angles with it, so maybe he's been preparing himself for the ultimate challenge?
As some people already noticed, he needs to serve extremely well and go for the angles. Nadal is extremely dangerous when he owns the middle of the court.

Nadal in four sets probably, though I give Fed 25% chances to win this.
 
Would love to see how Federer's post 2016 mindset he's had against Nadal will work on Philippe Chatrier and how Rafa handles/approaches Federer's serve, a shot that had been hurting him throughout the whole 2017.
Would be totally disappointed if Fed continues to employ the same old losing strategy of throwing junk at a guy who responds to it probably better than anyone in history. I've gotten the impression that Roger is hitting his forehand as heavy as ever during this tournament and finding some great angles with it, so maybe he's been preparing himself for the ultimate challenge?
As some people already noticed, he needs to serve extremely well and go for the angles. Nadal is extremely dangerous when he owns the middle of the court.

Nadal in four sets probably, though I give Fed 25% chances to win this.
Welcome back, bro :love:
 
Would love to see how Federer's post 2016 mindset he's had against Nadal will work on Philippe Chatrier and how Rafa handles/approaches Federer's serve, a shot that had been hurting him throughout the whole 2017.
Would be totally disappointed if Fed continues to employ the same old losing strategy of throwing junk at a guy who responds to it probably better than anyone in history. I've gotten the impression that Roger is hitting his forehand as heavy as ever during this tournament and finding some great angles with it, so maybe he's been preparing himself for the ultimate challenge?
As some people already noticed, he needs to serve extremely well and go for the angles. Nadal is extremely dangerous when he owns the middle of the court.

Nadal in four sets probably, though I give Fed 25% chances to win this.
Hey, Martin J. Good to see you again. (y)
 
The mental edge is still for Nadal at RG, since Federer has won 0% of his matches against Nadal at RG and Nadal feels so comfortable in his favorite court against Federer. In other Slams, Federer would have the mental advantage.
Nadal will have doubts regardless of the fact they are back on clay. It might not be rational for him to do so but rest assured he will.
 
Not sure, Nadal leads the H2H over Federer 3-1 at the AO. But, on the other hand, it is true that Federer in 2017 was 4-0 over Nadal on hard courts. Overall, yes Federer can be considered a bit favorite for an AO match, but he would not be so overwhelming favorite as Nadal at RG.
The Australian Open is my favourite reference point for showing how ridiculous the H2H argument is. Some Nadal fans will claim Nadal is better than Federer at the Aust Open (and by association on that surface) as he leads the head to head whist ignoring the fact that Federer has won the tournament 6 times to Nadal's' one! Tennis is about winning tournaments. Federer is a vastly superior player on that surface as evidenced by the fact he has won the Aust Open 6 times. As I have said for many years in reference to their rivalry. "Nadal may have won the battle but Federer won the war".
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
Well, here we are again, it’s Federer, it’s Nadal, it’s RG 2019 semi, fourteen years since they first locked horns and went head on for what would become one of the most historic rivalries in grand slam tennis history, we are back to beginning. The more things change, the more they stay the same…or do they? I understand that many can vividly smell the ominous scent of inevitability in the air, Nadal snapping his fingers ala Thanos and turning his adversaries into red dust, after all he is 5-0 against Federer at RG, and he is going to win this and most likely win this fairly easily, but is he really? Like the majority, I too boisterously announced that Nadal is the favorite to once again triumph in Paris and a lot of that is based on what Nadal represents when he steps foot onto Philippe Chatrier. The best way to describe Rafael Nadal at PC is by comparing him to a full scale tsunami – You know exactly what’s coming, and no matter how well you think you are prepared, you find yourself overwhelmed by the sheer brutality of its force. A living extinction event, Nadal destroys everything that stands in his way.

Whether you categorize everything I said as either romanticizing or recalling a traumatic experience, the one thing that cannot be overlooked is that Nadal of today has declined, and he has been declining for the past five years. A testament to the player he was, and still is, but the Nadal you see today isn’t the one that can break the sound barrier with his incomparably lethal combination of footspeed and footwork on a tennis court, even if it is made of crushed red brick. For me, Nadal’s prime ended that fateful night during the AO 2014 final, he hasn’t been the same since. If you are thinking Nadal is going to have his way in this semi-final, I think you might be surprised, Federer has a legitimate shot to win this match, and both of them know this.

Nadal tormented Federer on PC by his immaculate court coverage, shrinking his side of the court down and demanding that Federer hit at times up to three winners in each rally to get the ball past him. This was a very key aspect in pressing Federer and forcing the errors, Nadal as great as he still is does not possess this same footspeed, now you can say that Federer doesn’t have the footspeed either since he is even further declined than Nadal is, it will be ten years at the next AO that Federer left his prime behind, but he has few things that are now in his favor. The first being that the new racket head is allowing Federer to step into the court, instead of step backing, the larger sweet spot means Federer is less likely to shank the ball when taking it on the rise. If Federer starts to step into the court, and starts taking that ball on the rise and hits with topspin he will start robbing Nadal of time on the ball, Nadal’s footspeed and court coverage is the not the same as before, and a distributed attack of redirecting the ball both cross court and down the line will challenge Nadal’s balance. If Nadal steps back to allow himself time to get to the ball, he offers up valuable real estate, inviting Federer to now press forward and demand high quality passing to get the ball past him.

Nadal will have no choice but to mix his game up here, the attack to the backhand will not be as effective and rewarding as it has been in the past, the attack needs to split and he will need more variation than ever before on this court. The body serve is going to be key for Nadal, and I expect him to try to tie Federer up so can implement his will onto the point and basically do what he said, put his nemesis into difficult positions on the court. Federer struggles to move to his forehand, so while that is the dangerous side, the reigning King of Clay will need to go for it and do what Federer will do to him, and that is attack his reduced foot speed. I want to stress here that Federer is not resigned to his fate, he is going out there to win, if Nadal tries to play aggressively ala hard court tennis style, which I have seen creeping into his game to cut down the length of points that can play into Federer’s hands who feeds off of aggression.

The weather is not going to allow for a lot of bounce, make no mistake about it, this is detrimental to the current Nadal, heavy conditions don’t favor him, yes, Federer’s serving will be impacted also, but his loss is less than his opponents. Federer has had a very good first serve percentage here, it is absolutely essential he replicates that level of excellence in the semi, as Nadal is one of the best at hurting his second serve by administrating his high looping forehand return which pushes Federer back. Now, if I was Federer’s coach, I wouldn’t advise him to think this a best of five set match, everyone knows the stats of Nadal’s best of five set record, thinking about trying to climb that mountain is as daunting as actually trying to do it on the court. Instead, I would advise him to play this as a sprint best of three match, it changes the mind set dramatically, because the one thing Nadal has had difficulty doing is winning matches after losing the first couple of sets in slams, granted on clay this is about as rare as it gets, but if Federer focuses on getting the early sets without thinking of it being a best of five, the question will then be asked of Nadal. If I was Nadal’s coach I would certainly look to bring variety into the game and split the attack to both sides of Federer, to get him moving, because I am not sure Nadal will be able to pin him into that backhand side all match long.



Nadal is the favorite, but Federer has a very legitimate chance to win this one and they both know this.
 
Would love to see how Federer's post 2016 mindset he's had against Nadal will work on Philippe Chatrier and how Rafa handles/approaches Federer's serve, a shot that had been hurting him throughout the whole 2017.
Would be totally disappointed if Fed continues to employ the same old losing strategy of throwing junk at a guy who responds to it probably better than anyone in history. I've gotten the impression that Roger is hitting his forehand as heavy as ever during this tournament and finding some great angles with it, so maybe he's been preparing himself for the ultimate challenge?
As some people already noticed, he needs to serve extremely well and go for the angles. Nadal is extremely dangerous when he owns the middle of the court.

Nadal in four sets probably, though I give Fed 25% chances to win this.
@Martin J is back

 

Mustard

Talk Tennis Guru
At the time of the 2008 French Open, I remember thinking that you could not imagine any scenario where Nadal would lose 2 sets to a player in a match there, let alone 3 sets. Nadal's physicality and mobility at the time was too great, nearly always dictating to his opponent. He doesn't have that same physicality and mobility anymore, but he's still very good.
 

Mustard

Talk Tennis Guru
Carlos Moya has talked of Nadal needing to be more aggressive these days. Moya is correct in a general sense, but I think Nadal needs his old way of playing against Federer and Djokovic. When he beats them, Nadal beats Djokovic in baseline wars of attrition over the long haul, and peppers Federer with high balls to his backhand and moving him around the court.
 

weakera

Hall of Fame
IMO sometimes there is something of an edge given to a player being distinctly "hungrier," or more desperate to win than his opponent, which to some extent we saw in the Rome final a couple of weeks ago with Rafa coming out huge in the first set vs. Nole. I think Rafa will have that edge now as well, as he desperately needs to continue owning RG if he wants to keep building his resume, as opposed to Roger who seems quite pleased simply to have gotten this far.
 
for the sake of good solid tennis they should postpone to Saturday because tomorrow's weather's going to be a joke even if it's not raining it's going to be so blustery and Windy it's going to really mess up playing tennis
 
I want to stress here that Federer is not resigned to his fate, he is going out there to win, if Nadal tries to play aggressively ala hard court tennis style, which I have seen creeping into his game to cut down the length of points that can play into Federer’s hands who feeds off of aggression.
Good stuff, @Hitman ! I agree there are a lot of factors in their match-up that currently are actually in Federer's favor, and I think you're dead on about Federer not being resigned to his fate. He's looked like a man on a mission this whole clay season, and I think he'll have more belief going into this match than he has since probably the very first time he played Nadal on clay. There's absolutely no pressure on Federer. He can swing freely and if he loses, it was as expected, but if his shots start landing in...

I wouldn't go nearly so far as to predict a Federer win, but I think he can bother Nadal a lot more than some people seem to expect.

I voted Nadal in 4 in the poll, but I'm hoping Fed somehow manages to prove me wrong!
 
Good stuff, @Hitman ! I agree there are a lot of factors in their match-up that currently are actually in Federer's favor, and I think you're dead on about Federer not being resigned to his fate. He's looked like a man on a mission this whole clay season, and I think he'll have more belief going into this match than he has since probably the very first time he played Nadal on clay. There's absolutely no pressure on Federer. He can swing freely and if he loses, it was as expected, but if his shots start landing in...

I wouldn't go nearly so far as to predict a Federer win, but I think he can bother Nadal a lot more than some people seem to expect.

I voted Nadal in 4 in the poll, but I'm hoping Fed somehow manages to prove me wrong!
there shouldn't have been pressure once he won it in 2009 imo, and yet in 2011....I want to believe dammit but in my head i keep telling myself nadal in 3, atmost 4 if he starts slow and fed gets off to a good start. first set as usual is key.
 
there shouldn't have been pressure once he won it in 2009 imo, and yet in 2011....I want to believe dammit but in my head i keep telling myself nadal in 3, atmost 4 if he starts slow and fed gets off to a good start. first set as usual is key.
Do you really believe there might not be any pressure in a slam final?
 
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there shouldn't have been pressure once he won it in 2009 imo, and yet in 2011....I want to believe dammit but in my head i keep telling myself nadal in 3, atmost 4 if he starts slow and fed gets off to a good start. first set as usual is key.
That was a long time ago and so much has changed. He was a lot younger and still probably felt he should be number one over Djokovic and Nadal. Now I think he just feels fortunate even to be playing at this age – let alone making slam semifinals at his worst major! I'm not sure how much I believe he'll win, but I can definitely see it being tougher for Nadal than might be expected. And if conditions are damp enough and Nadal falls into old habits like rolling in his first serve to Fed's backhand (which neo-backhand Fed will probably feast on)... The stars could perhaps align. I don't know. It's not likely, but it's distinctly possible.
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
Great analysis but you copped out at the end here. What's your prediction?
@tudwell post echos my thoughts. I feel Federer has a very effective game plan against Nadal and this is the first time I feel Nadal is not a lock against Federer at RG since 2006, so the score will be respectful, but going with Nadal in 4.


Good stuff, @Hitman ! I agree there are a lot of factors in their match-up that currently are actually in Federer's favor, and I think you're dead on about Federer not being resigned to his fate. He's looked like a man on a mission this whole clay season, and I think he'll have more belief going into this match than he has since probably the very first time he played Nadal on clay. There's absolutely no pressure on Federer. He can swing freely and if he loses, it was as expected, but if his shots start landing in...

I wouldn't go nearly so far as to predict a Federer win, but I think he can bother Nadal a lot more than some people seem to expect.

I voted Nadal in 4 in the poll, but I'm hoping Fed somehow manages to prove me wrong!
 
He would either slice or hit cross court backhand
that's what i think he'd do as well.
the point is that rafa wouldn't vaporize it. and hitting an acute angle from that high up is extremely difficult. i think the moonball to the rafa bh should be including in the fed's bag of tricks for tomorrow.
 
If by some miracle Federer wins this, he'll limp into the final a wounded beast and be ripe for the slaughter no matter if it's Djokovic or Thiem.
Also wanted to add that one of the things that Federer has going for him is that there's absolutely no pressure on him since almost nobody is expecting him to win, and he's already far surpassed expectations by even making it this far.
 
I'd say the first set is a must-win for Fed. It's over if he loses the first.
Can't imagine Fed winning in 5 sets. Yes, he did it at AO, but this is the French.
 
Bookies have Nadal at 1.11(1/9). I think Federer has never been this much of a outsider. I’d love to see a competitive match but I have a feeling this could be a blowout after a close 1st set.
 
this is gonna be a straight set blowout, you guys are hyping this WAY too hard

if Djoker comes through in straights against Tim, then we got ourselves a final to remember

Djokodal on Sunday, book it
 
Also wanted to add that one of the things that Federer has going for him is that there's absolutely no pressure on him since almost nobody is expecting him to win, and he's already far surpassed expectations by even making it this far.
This is something that people who don't play sports say.
 
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