Roger Federer's quest for Grand Slam title No. 21 ended Friday against longtime rival and friend Rafael Nadal, who's now one win away from securing his 18th Grand Slam title and extending his record to 12 titles — and three in a row — at the French Open.
Nadal, who won 6-3, 6-4, 6-2, will face Novak Djokovic or Dominic Thiem, who play their semifinal match later Friday. The final is on Sunday.
The wind was swirling at the main Philippe Chatrier Court, and the third-seeded Federer couldn't overcome the stellar play of the King of Clay. Federer broke the second-seeded Nadal at the start the second set, but Nadal broke back and then broke him again to take a 5-4 lead before holding serve to take the set.
Nadal broke Federer again to go up 2-1 in the third set, and Federer, showing some rare frustration, smacked a ball into the upper deck of the stands.
June 7: Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer embrace at the net after Nadal defeated Federer in straight sets to advance to the final. (Photo: Clive Mason, Getty Images)
It was the 39th time the tennis titans faced off against each other, and Nadal's win pushed his overall record against Federer to 24-15, with 14 of those wins coming on clay. He's now 6-0 against Federer at the French Open and 92-2 against all opponents.
The 37-year-old Federer had won his previous five meetings against the 33-year-old Nadal — a streak dating back to the 2014 Australian Open.
This was Federer's first time playing at Roland Garros since 2015.
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