Second seed Rafael Nadal and third seed Roger Federer will renew their treasured rivalry in semi-final action on Friday at Roland Garros. The winner will face top seed Novak Djokovic or fourth seed Dominic Thiem in the championship match.
"I'm very happy to play Rafa because if you want to do or achieve something on clay, inevitably, at some stage you will go through [him]," said Federer. "I knew that when I signed up for the clay [and] hoped it was going to happen. If I would have had a different mindset to avoid him, then I should not have played the clay."
Nadal leads his Head2Head rivalry with Federer 23-15, but Federer has won their past five matches. The Spaniard leads their series on clay 13-2 and has won their past four meetings on the surface, but they haven't played on it since the 2013 Internazionali BNL d'Italia final. Nadal has won all five of their previous clashes at this event, prevailing in the 2005 semi-finals and championship matches in 2006-2008 and 2011.
Although Federer hasn't beaten Nadal on clay since the 2009 Mutua Madrid Open final, he believes he can reverse the trend.
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