Emotional Rafael Nadal extends record, sets up semis clash with Federer
Defending champ sweeps Kei Nishikori; Federer beats friend Wawrinka
Rafael Nadal has advanced to a record-extending 12th Roland Garros semifinal with a 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 win over Kei Nishikori.
"I'm very satisfied, it's incredible, lots of emotions," Nadal said. "To be back in the semifinals is something very, very important."
Playing two straight five-set matches ahead of his quarter-final against Nadal was certainly not the ideal preparation for Nishikori.
"I mean, that's for sure I played too much hours on the court this week, last week. I played too much," Nishikori said.
WATCH | Rafael Nadal cruises to semifinals:
In his four previous matches with Nadal on the slow surface, the seventh-seeded Nishikori had managed to win just one set. With the odds stacked against him, fatigue surely did not help his bid to reach the semifinals in Paris for the first time.
Before taking on the 17-time Grand Slam champion, Nishikori had played five-set matches against both Laslo Djere and Benoit Paire. His fourth-round victory over the Frenchman extended over two days, meaning he had a day less than Nadal to recover and get ready for their meeting.
Power and consistency
"He was a little bit more tired than usual, no doubt about it," Nadal said.
Meanwhile, Roger Federer defeated friend Stan Wawrinka 7-6 (4), 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 in a tight battle on Court Suzanne Lenglen to set up the 39th career meeting between Federer and longtime rival Nadal.
Nadal has won all five meetings with Federer at Roland Garros.
WATCH | Roger Federer ousts friend Stan Wawrinka:
Konta advances on women's side
Wawrinka beat Federer in straight sets in their last Roland Garros meeting at the same stage four years ago. Until last week, that 2015 match was also the last time Federer played in the clay-court Grand Slam tournament, having missed the 2016 edition to rest a sore back and then skipping the clay season altogether the following two years.
Konta served six aces, stepped into the court to crush winners off second serves and never gave the seventh-seeded Stephens time to find her rhythm or groove.
WATCH | Highlights of Johanna Konta's rare British feat:
"To play one of the best players in the world and then play at the level I did, I feel really proud of myself," Konta told the crowd.
Konta has now reached the semifinals at three of the four major tournaments, but has yet to reach a final.
She will next play either unseeded teen Marketa Vondrousova or No. 31 Petra Martic.