Rafael Nadal continued his mastery of the red clay at Roland Garros with another dominant showing against fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in Friday’s French Open semifinals. The six-time champion cruised to a 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 victory and has yet to drop a set in the tournament.
Generally, a semifinal starring the top-seed might be the featured match at a Grand Slam tournament. But Nadal’s return to the final felt like a foregone conclusion while the nightcap between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer is destined to be a much more dramatic affair. (Update: Djokovic beat Federer 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 to reach his first French Open final.)
Fresh off a monumental victory over fourth-seeded Andy Murray, Ferrer had no answer for Nadal’s powerful groundstrokes and relentless court coverage. And when Rafa fell, flipped up a backhanded drop shot from the seat of his shorts and then got up in time to hit a lob to take the point, Ferrer had to know he was in for a short stay on Court Philippe Chatrier.
With the victory, Nadal improved to 22-1 on his favorite surface this year and he has now won 25 consecutive sets. For his career, he’s 51-1 at Roland Garros.
Nadal is now one win away from a record seventh French Open title, and so far this his 2012 performance has been his best yet. And that’s a scary proposition for whoever survives the Djokovic-Federer slugfest tonight.