Rafael Nadal reached his twenty ninth Grand Slam ultimate—in a bid to change into the primary man to win 21 slams—as he beat Italian Matteo Berrettini 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 within the semifinals of the Australian Open.
Nadal makes it to his sixth ultimate within the slam down beneath, having gained it in 2009 and misplaced within the 2012, 2014, 2017 and 2019 editions.
The 2 had been assembly for less than the second time. Lots had occurred since Nadal beat Berrettini in 2019. The Spaniard had spent nearly essentially the most of final yr out of motion, whereas the younger Italian rose to change into a relentless characteristic within the high 10.
Whereas Nadal gained the primary two units simply, coming off a draining five-set quarterfinal, Berrettini actually confirmed why he’s thought-about among the finest on the earth with some glorious shot choice to take the third set. Even Nadal was left applauding a number of the unplayable pictures.
But it surely was not sufficient for the Italian, because the 20-time Grand Slam champion dug deep and eradicated him within the fourth set.
There’s a decade between their ages—35 and 25—and whereas Berrettini made Nadal run, the veteran didn’t give in. Berrettini broke Nadal for the primary time ever within the third set and gained 14 aces.
Nadal will play the winner of the second semifinal of the day between world quantity 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas and world quantity two Daniil Medvedev.
Ought to Nadal win the ultimate on Sunday, he not solely turns into the primary man to win 21 Grand Slams—he’s tied with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic—but additionally the primary to win all 4 slams no less than twice.
When requested about it after his semifinal win, Nadal shrugged it off. “For me it’s all in regards to the Australian Open greater than anything. I’ve been just a little bit fortunate in my profession with some accidents. At occasions I performed good finals towards Novak in 2012 and Roger in 2017 (he misplaced each). I used to be fortunate to win as soon as in 2009 however I by no means considered one other probability in 2022.”