Rafael Nadal Straight Sets Matteo Berrettini to Advance to US Open Final
(September 6, 2019) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Rafael Nadal is a win away from claiming his 19th major trophy and his fourth US Open title. The Spaniard, the world No.2 won 7-6 (6), 6-4, 6-1 in his semifinal against 24th seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy.
Nadal needed to rally from 4-0 down, and 6-4 saving set points in the first set tiebreaker to win it 7-6(6).
After the battle of the first set and a break in the second set, the 33-year-old Nadal had little resistance form Berrettini. Nadal who initially started out 0-6 on break points against the Italian broke serve four times in the match. Nadal, himself did not face a break point during the match.
“But before to play the final is not the moment to be super happy, no? Of course, finally when the tournament finish, if you lose, when you looking global perspective, okay. But now is a moment to enjoy today, but is a match in front on Sunday, an important one,” Nadal said to media.
“I just focus on try to be 100% ready for it. But, of course, very, very happy for everything. Another final of the Grand Slam, and another final here in Flushing Meadows means a lot to me. So happy.”
“Here we are. Every major have a different character, different atmosphere. I felt the one that I was more unfortunate was Australia for different facts, a lot of injuries there I think.
“But here, a couple of ones. Like last year, and I remember another time. But at times have been a positive tournament for me all my career, this one.
“I said every single day, but I can repeat: I feel comfortable here, I like the atmosphere, I like the crowd. I feel a big energy when I am playing in this Arthur Ashe Stadium. Yeah, just can say thanks to the crowd because honestly I feel a big support from them all the time. That’s important for me.”
“Winning the first set would have mean(t) I think a lot, ” said Berrettini. “Especially with him, you know, it’s tough to go, like, a set down after an hour, more than an hour, with him.
“But I was feeling I was playing really good, even though he had a lot of chances on my serve. I think I played also good important points. I mean, I was brave, like I asked to myself.
“I couldn’t say anything bad. I cannot complain about what I did. I was playing with Rafa, center court, in semis. I think it’s okay.”
What did Berrittini learn this fortnight? “I’m still learning the tennis. It’s really weird,” he said. “I was coming here with not a lot of confidence. I was injured. I didn’t play a good match in Cincinnati. Didn’t expect to do such a great tournament.
“I’m learning to be ready. Every match is important. Every point is important. Yeah, this one for sure. Then all the matches, you have to be focus and ready to get the chances that you’re making.
“I think when I have the right attitude on the court, I can play with any guys. If I’m focusing, if I’m playing my tennis, I can be really dangerous. That’s really important to have this confidence.”
No. 2 Nadal will take on No. 5 seed Daniil Medvedev, 23, on Sunday. This will be the Russian’s first major final. Should Nadal win, he will be only one major title behind Roger Federer who has 20.
Nadal beat Medvedev in the final of Montreal last month.
“We don’t need to hold this era anymore,” Nadal in reference to the “Big Four” which includes himself, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murrray and Roger Federer. “We have been here for 15 years almost. Hopefully, but for my personal interest. At some point, these days, going to happen sooner than later that this era going to end. Is arriving to the end. I am 33. Novak is 32. Roger is 38. Andy is 32, too.
“The clock is not stopping. That’s part of the cycle of life.
“I’m not much worried about this because in tennis always going to be great champions.”