Cyprus Mail
French Open

Nadal demolishes Nishikori to set up showdown with Federer

Defending champion Rafael Nadal cruised into the French Open semi-finals to set up a last-four meeting with 20-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer

Rafael Nadal eased into a 12th French Open semi-final with a brutal victory over seventh seed Kei Nishikori.

Nadal dropped just five games in a 6-1 6-1 6-3 win against an admittedly tired opponent, who had been pushed to five sets in his previous two matches.

Nishikori could find nothing with which to hurt Nadal and the Spaniard, who turned 33 on Monday, will now look to maintain his record of never having lost at Roland Garros once he has reached the last four.

The only thing that held him up was a brief thunderstorm in the third set. Nadal looked decidedly unhappy to be instructed to leave the court at 4-2 but wasted little time wrapping things up on the resumption.

Nadal will face his old foe Roger Federer for the 39th time in the last four after the veteran Swiss defeated countryman Stan Wawrinka 7-6 (4) 4-6 7-6 (5) 6-4.

This was a predictably tight affair, with Wawrinka, who had played for more than five hours in the fourth round against Stefanos Tsitsipas, hitting back in the second set.

The third saw both men have chances, but it was Federer who took his in the tie-break and a break of serve at 4-4 in the fourth set set him up for a return to the semi-finals here for the first time since 2012.

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