Tennis fans will have the opportunity to see two of the sport’s all-time greats, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, compete against one another for the 39th time after each won their respective quarterfinal matchups at the French Open on Tuesday.
The 11-time Roland Garros champion took on seventh-seed Kei Nishikori, and notched a clinical 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 win. Nishikori was in the quarterfinals after winning two consecutive five-set matches, and was unable to get much going against the greatest clay court player of all-time.
“It’s a great satisfaction to be in another semifinal, there are lots of emotions,” said Nadal. “My level has been very good throughout the tournament and I am happy to be able to come back and play another day.”
Nadal needed just one hour and 50 minutes to secure his spot in the final four in Paris.
Federer had a bit tougher time in his quarterfinal matchup on Tuesday as he took on his countryman and former champion Stan Wawrinka.
The third-seeded Federer downed Wawrinka, who was coming off a five-plus hour matchup against Stefanos Tsitsipas in his previous match, 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4.
“Stan played a really good match. I’m really happy to play him here at Roland Garros,” said Federer, who is into his first semifinal at the French Open since 2012.
“My next opponent is pretty good,” joked Federer on-court afterwards, referring to Nadal. “He knows how to play on clay, sadly.”
Earlier in the day, Great Britain’s Johanna Konta knocked off last year’s finalist American Sloane Stephens 6-1, 6-4.
“I’ve always said that whenever I step out onto the court, I’m always going to have a chance,” said Konta, the first British woman to reach the French Open semifinals since Jo Durie in 1983. “I’m always going to have a shot.”
Konta will face Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic for a spot in the finals. Vondrousova continued her stunning Paris run with a win over 31st seed Petra Martic.