Sure, one might argue that the Swiss has gained their final 5 conferences however of their 15 earlier encounters on clay, Federer has solely gained twice.
5 of their clay-court battles have come at Roland Garros. Federer has not gained any of them. Certainly, solely two gamers have been in a position to conquer the ‘King of Clay’ on his favorite courtroom: Robin Soderling and Novak Djokovic.
Their final contest on the filth got here in Rome in 2013, the place 33-year-old Nadal wiped the ground along with his nice rival within the ultimate, however the newest encounter right here, within the 2011 ultimate, was a a lot nearer four-set affair.
Federer’s finest successful streak towards his rival has coincided along with his avoidance of competing on the crushed brick.
Nadal grinned when requested in regards to the 37-year-old skipping the 2018 clay-court swing in Monte Carlo a yr in the past: ‘He says he will like to play towards me once more in best-of-five units on clay..
‘He said that a couple of days ago – and I thought he would play Roland Garros. Then a few days later he says he will not play in one event, so there’s a little bit of controversy with that.’
Federer, a champion in these components in 2009, will little doubt take confidence from his latest successful file however is aware of that Nadal on clay is a completely totally different beast.
That stated, the third seed insists their match is not any foregone conclusion.
‘Like against any player, there is always a chance,’ Federer stated after beating Stan Wawrinka within the quarter-finals. ‘Otherwise nobody will be in the stadium to watch because everybody already knows the result in advance. And I think sport does that to you, that every match needs to be played before it’s determined.
‘And that’s precisely what all people believes by going through Rafa. They comprehend it’s going to be powerful. However you simply by no means know. He may need a drawback. He could be sick. You by no means know..
‘You might be playing great or for some reason he’s struggling. Perhaps there’s unimaginable wind, rain, 10 rain delays. You simply don’t know. That’s why you have to put your self in that place.
‘For me to get to Rafa is not simple. It took five matches here for me to win to get there. That’s why I’m very comfortable to play Rafa, as a result of if you wish to do or obtain one thing on the clay, inevitably, at some stage, you’ll undergo Rafa, as a result of he’s that robust and he will probably be there.
‘I knew that when I signed up for the clay that hopefully that’s gonna occur. If I’d have had a totally different mindset to keep away from him, then I mustn’t have performed the clay. So I feel by that mindset, I feel it helped me to play so effectively to this point this match.’
Eleven-time champion Nadal, in the meantime, believes their match-up is regularly evolving.
‘There is no two matches the same,’ Nadal stated after thumping Kei Nishikori. ‘All the matches are different, because we always try things. Let’s see. Let’s see what’s happening.
‘I really expect that he gonna play aggressive, changing rhythms, going to the net. That’s my feeling, that he gonna attempt to play that method, as a result of he’s enjoying effectively and he has the tennis to make that occur.
‘I have to be solid. I have to hit the ball enough strong to don’t enable him to do the issues from good positions. I have to let him play from tough positions, so from there he gonna have much less possibilities to go to the web or to play his aggressive sport.
‘So at the end of the day is play well. If I am able to play good tennis and play well with my forehand and backhand, I hope to put him in trouble. If not, I will be in trouble.’