Switzerland's world number one Roger Federer has qualified for the final of tennis's French Open in Paris for the third year in a row.This content was published on June 6, 2008 - 20:00
Top-ranked Federer endured some messy moments in the semifinal on Friday. Twice he fell on the clay, but he wiped himself down and beat unseeded Frenchman Gael Monfils 6-2, 5-7, 6-3, 7-5.
Federer struggled at times against Monfils, especially in the final game of the second set, when he looked nervous serving and shanked a forehand on the final shot.
Scrambling rallies sent Federer tumbling twice, while Monfils fell at least four times. Federer moved forward at every opportunity, won 49 of 64 points at the net – a lot on clay – and erased ten of Monfils' 13 break-point chances.
Nadal won't be so easily deterred. For the fourth consecutive year in Paris, Federer seeks to become the sixth man to have won all four Grand Slam events. Nadal defeated him in the semifinals in 2005 and in the final in 2006 and 2007.
Nadal's earlier semifinal was close only by his standards: he lost 12 games and nearly conceded a set. The king of clay beat No. 3-seeded Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (3).
Nadal had lost only three games in each of his previous two matches. He's one win from becoming the first player since Björn Borg in 1981 to win four consecutive French Open titles, while Federer seeks the only Grand Slam title he has yet to win.
"Against Federer is special," Nadal said. "I will try and face history."