Paris: Roger Federer is competing at Roland Garros for the first time in four years, but it certainly hasn’t seemed like it this fortnight.
After a rain delay that lasted more than an hour, Federer surged past fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 in three hours and 35 minutes Tuesday, advancing to the semi-finals on the Parisian terre for the first time since 2012.
“I’m very happy, number one, to be back in another semi-finals of a Grand Slam. It hasn’t happened in the past year or so. I had some tough losses in fourth rounds or quarters.
Fast feet, fast hands 🏁
— ATP Tour (@ATP_Tour) June 4, 2019
“So from that standpoint, I exceeded my expectations here,” Federer said.
“After missing the French for so many years, it’s nice to be back in the semis, so that’s a great feeling.”
Federer will next meet his greatest rival, 11-time champion Rafael Nadal, for the first time since 2017 Shanghai.
They were set to battle in the semi-finals of this year’s BNP Paribas Open, but Nadal withdrew due to an injury. Their 39th head to head clash (Nadal leads 23-15) will be their first on clay since 2013 Rome.
“Now I have the match with Rafa, and I’m clearly excited,” Federer said.
“I hope I can recover well in the next couple days, which I’m sure I will, and I’ll give it my best shot on Friday.”