Rafael Nadal is a man who respects the rules. Except on that day in July 2006( story )

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Rafael Nadal was a player to beat in 2019, securing two Major titles and his fifth No. 1 of the year ahead of Novak Djokovic. Rafa had 58 wins that season and one of his most prized came in the Roland Garros semi-final against his old rival Roger Federer.

It was his fourteenth meeting at the Majors (the fifteenth was just around the corner at Wimbledon). Rafa got the tenth victory after a triumph by 6-3, 6-4, and 6-2 in two hours and 25 minutes. Nadal had lost all five of his previous matches against Federer and was keen to change that on his favorite court, facing Roger in Paris for the first time since 2011 final.

Rafa advanced to his 12th Roland Garros final after hitting 33 winners and 19 unforced errors. He faced four break chances and was only broken twice to mount the pressure on the other side. It took much more than that for Roger to challenge the best clay court player in his first semi-final in Paris since 2012.


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