Rafa races into French Open final No.7
Originally published on: 08/06/12 00:00
For the seventh time in eight years Rafael Nadal will fight it out for the French Open title after playing his “best match at Roland Garros this year”.
Victorious in all six of his final appearances in Paris, Nadal secured his path towards a seventh after completing a merciless 6-2 6-2 6-1 victory over David Ferrer in an hour and 46 minutes.
"They are always very tough matches against him, you can lose, but I believed I would have chances today and it was a fantastic performance from me,” said Nadal.
Ferrer did start the brighter and held two break points in the fourth game of the opening set, but couldn’t capitalise on either opportunity. As has become customary for Nadal in Paris, it was one way traffic from there on in and even Ferrer’s move to a pink shirt in the second set couldn’t dazzle the world No.2 off course.
The 25-year-old Mallorcan ultimately sealed victory with an inside-out forehand before heading to the net for an almost apologetic embrace with Ferrer, whom he has now bettered in 16 of their 20 career meetings.
With his opponent in Sunday’s final set to be decided by this afternoon’s clash between 2009 champion Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, weather permitting, Nadal told the crowd they were in for a treat.
"The second semi-finals is one of best matches you can see in our sport, it's going to be a great match,” he said. “I wish all the crowd a fantastic semi-final, they're going to enjoy one of the best matches."_ь
Nadal, who has a 51-1 record at Roland Garros, has faced Federer in the final four times, in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2011, famously bagelling the Swiss in the third set of their 2008 encounter. Should he play Djokovic in Sunday’s final, it will be their fourth career meeting at the French Open, with the Serb never having taken so much as a set off Nadal at the Paris slam.