PARIS — Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer advanced on Tuesday to a hotly anticipated semifinal at the French Open.
Federer, playing at Roland Garros for the first time since 2015, earned his spot by defeating his Swiss compatriot Stan Wawrinka, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4, in the quarterfinals.
That match ended minutes after Nadal’s comprehensive 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 victory over Kei Nishikori.
The result was not surprising, considering the second-seeded Nadal is an 11-time champion at Roland Garros and had a 10-2 career record against Nishikori. The ease of the win could not have been much of a surprise, either. Nishikori did not finish his five-set, fourth-round match until Monday afternoon, about 25 hours before he took the court against the greatest clay-court player in history.
The only relief that came for Nishikori, the No. 7 seed from Japan, was a roughly hourlong rain delay that stopped play with Nadal leading by 4-2 in the third set.
The semifinal between the second-seeded Nadal and third-seeded Federer will be their first meeting at Roland Garros since the 2011 final. Nadal, 33, has lost his last six matches to Federer, 37, but holds a 23-15 edge against him over all, including a 13-2 mark on clay. He has never lost to Federer in five matches at the French Open.