Second-seeded Spaniard Rafael Nadal wasted no time in defeating Roger Federer to advance to the final of the French Open last Friday, going 6-3 6-4 6-2 to reach his 12th final at the famed Roland Garros.
The two competitors met in their first French Open for the first time since 2011 but the third-seeded Federer would find that Nadal was still too good to usurp. The latter had never lost to Federer in Paris, improving his record to 6-0 on Friday, having also never lost a semi-final at a clay-court Grand Slam.
Federer hadn’t competed in the French Open since 2015, missing the next year’s tournament through a back injury and skipping the last two years in order to make preparations for grass and hard courts.
He looked great upon his return, that is until running into Nadal. Normally a composed and collected figure, Federer was prompted to smash a ball towards the stand after getting broken and going behind 2/1.
This was the first time the top four seeded men were in the semis of the Roland Garros since 2011, with No.1-seeded Novak Djokovic and No.4-seeded Dominic Thiem all still in the competition at the time.
The 37-year-old was understandably not the bookies’ favorite to advance to the final from this match and was +575 to win with 888 Sport. Nadal, meanwhile, was at -769.23 and the result went as expected.
Nadal made very easy work against Federer before going on to face Thiem in Sunday’s final. He did come out on top, going 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1 against the latter to win a record-extending 12th French Open title. But, according to two-time finalist Alex Corretja, the Spaniard found it difficult to breathe during the match.
“I have just spoken to Rafa and he looked very calm, he said it was crucial he broke back in the first set and got ahead,” Corretja told Eurosport after the final. “He said the speed and intensity in the first two sets was very difficult, it was brutal conditions as well with long rallies and it was difficult to breathe.”
Nadal went into the match with Betfair offering odds of -450 on him claiming his 12th French Open title. Thiem, who pulled an upset by beating the No.1 seeded Djokovic 6-2 3-6 7-5 6-7 7-5 on Saturday, was +350 to win Sunday’s final with the aforementioned bookies.
The French Open is over but Wimbledon is nearly upon us; you could find some great Tennis Betting tips and odds at Online Sportbetting. The two-week tournament kicks off on July 1 and there are plenty of odds on offer. Nadal is at +50 to win the competition outright with Bet365 while Federer is +333.33 with the odds slightly in his favor. Djokovic, meanwhile, is at +150 to win the competition with Paddy Power.
Nadal, a two-time Wimbledon winner, will be hoping to follow his record French Open victory up with a third Wimbledon championship. He is now just two Grand Slam titles away from Federer’s all-time record of 20 and a win next month will take him one step closer to matching or potentially even surpassing the veteran.