Paris: Rafael Nadal is one win away from reaching a record seventh French Open title. The No. 2 seed powered past Nicolas Almagro in the quarter-finals at Roland Garros with a 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 6-3 victory which was his 50th win on the Paris clay, having lost only once in eight tournaments. Up next in the semi-finals is fellow Spaniard David Ferrer (No. 6) who has lost 15 of his 19 duels with Nadal.
Nadal, 26, has won all 15 sets he's played this year at Roland Garros. Only Nadal and Bjorn Borg have won six French Open championships, and the Spaniard is also seeking his 11th Grand Slam trophy, which would tie him with Borg and Rod Laver for the fourth-most in history. Nadal's only French Open loss came in the fourth round against Robin Soderling in 2009.
Nadal and Ferrer have only ever met on at Roland Garros, back in 2005 when Nadal debuted in Paris with a 7-5, 6-2, 6-0 win en route to his maiden Grand Slam title. Ferrer, 30, has only once beaten Nadal on clay " back in their first meeting in Stuttgart in 2004. Coming to Roland Garros, the two met twice on Clay " in Rome and Barcelona " with Nadal winning both in straight sets.
Ferrer is under no illusions about the enormity of the task ahead. "Yes, Rafa is always difficult to play. Even more so on clay," he said. "But as I said and I will say again - I will try and play a beautiful match, my best tennis. I have great ambitions, and I'm quite certain this is going to be a very physical match."