After a frustrating start to his French Open title defense, 7-time champion Rafael Nadal is finally satisfied with the state of his game. Nadal, who had lost opening sets in his first two matches and nearly a third, was in gear today in a 62, 61, 63 demolition of Stanislas Wawrinka.
“I’m happy the way that I played today especially. Was my best match on the tournament without any doubt,” Nadal said. “I said I need to make a change. I was confident that I can do it and I did.
“If I was not happy five days ago about my level, today I say I am happy that I am in semifinals.”
The win was Nadal’s 26th straight at the French Open and it puts him into a super semifinal showdown against rival Novak Djokovic on Friday. Nadal just lost to Novak on the clay in Monte Carlo and now gets he gets a crack at revenge. But he stresses that the stakes are different in this one.
“You are not playing a match for a title, you are just playing a match to be in the final,” Nadal pointed out. “So is a big difference.
“Doesn’t matter if it’s Novak or Federer or Ferrer or Tsonga. I try to come here and win a title. The opponent, when you are playing an important tournament, doesn’t make any difference.
“But is Novak and I have to accept that’s gonna be a very tough match and I’m going to try to play my best. That’s the only thing.”
Nadal leads Novak 19-15 and is ahead 12-3 on clay courts. Their encounter Friday will be their first semifinal meeting since 2009 Monte Carlo, won by Djokovic.
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