For those who want a quick refresher on Nadal-Federer matchups in the French Open, here's your history. It's a little one-sided.
2005 Semifinals: Nadal wins 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
On his 19th birthday, Nadal went right at Federer. Despite building a solid lead in the second set to go up 5-1, Nadal racked off three straight points before Federer finished him off. But every other set was dominated by Rafa, whose aggressive cross-court shots and general attacking method were too much for Roger to handle.
Federer was genuinely frustrated after the match. It wouldn't be the last time against Nadal in Paris.
2006 Finals: Nadal wins 1-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (4)
The BBC had an excellent illustration of what Nadal does to neutralize the all-around ability of Federer: The power forehand, which pushes Federer from corner to corner and forces him to chase shots and puts him constantly on the defensive.
Nadal's forehand again dominated after an aggressive first set by Federer, pushing him around the court and eventually lifting him to his second French Open title, and again beating Roger on the path to earning it.
2007 Finals: Nadal 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
Almost certainly the best match, and Federer's best shot at unseating Nadal on clay. But he dropped too many break points (particularly in the first set up 3-2, and early in the fourth up 1-0), and it was again over in four. Nadal's forehand wasn't as solid as it was in the previous two matches, but he pulled it out just enough to knock Federer off-balance for the final two sets.
2008 Finals: Nadal 6-1, 6-3, 6-0
The total antithesis of their epic matchup in Wimbledon a month later, Nadal schooled Federer in a straight set sweep. Nadal took his forehand dominance to its highest heights in this match, bouncing Federer around for most of the match and barely allowing him to breathe. After taking around three hours in each of their previous three matchups, it took under 110 minutes to send Roger home.
It looked as if Federer would never be able to complete the Grand Slam. But now that he has it, the pressure might be off in this matchup. The only blemish on Federer's practically unblemished resume is beating Nadal in Roland Garros. Can he finally do it? Let us know in the comments.
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