Australian Open: Rafael Nadal overcomes Matteo Berrettini test to reach final where he will face Daniil Medvedev | Tennis News

The sixth seed will face Daniil Medvedev in Sunday’s final; if victorious, it would be Nadal’s 21st Grand Slam title and the one that takes him ahead of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic on the all-time list; Medvedev is aiming to win his first Australian Open title

Last Updated: 28/01/22 12:27pm

Rafael Nadal cut an emotional figure on court after his semi-final victory

Rafael Nadal cut an emotional figure on court after his semi-final victory

Rafael Nadal overcame a stern test from Matteo Berrettini to reach his sixth Australian Open final in Melbourne and will face Daniil Medvedev on Sunday.

The 35-year-old remains on track to win a record 21st Grand Slam title in Melbourne and his first Australian Open title since 2009.

Berrettini made the world No 5 work for his victory by taking the third set and holding much of the momentum in the fourth. However, a key Nadal break at 4-3 helped the Spaniard claim a 3-6 2-6 6-3 3-6 victory.

“It means a lot to me to be in the final again here,” Nadal said on court with a smile on his face.

“For me, it’s all about the Australian Open more than anything else. It’s just an amazing event that I’ve been a little bit unlucky [at] with some injuries in my career.

“Also, I’ve played in some amazing finals with good chances against Novak Djokovic in 2012 and Roger Federer in 2017, I was close a couple of times.

“I was very lucky to win it once in my career and I never thought about having another chance in 2022, so I’ll just try and enjoy the victory today and then just try my best.”

Nadal and Matteo Berrettini spent two hours and 55 minutes on court inside the Rod Laver Arena

Nadal and Matteo Berrettini spent two hours and 55 minutes on court inside the Rod Laver Arena

Seventh seed Berrettini began nervously in his third Grand Slam semi-final and found his weaker backhand ruthlessly exploited by Nadal, who seemed to be cruising into the final.

Berrettini, the beaten finalist at Wimbledon last year, did not manage to apply any pressure or force his opponent to leave his comfort zone for two sets but in the third things slowly began to turn.

The Italian had played Nadal once before, at the US Open in 2019, and had not created a break point. Finally, he managed it in the eighth game of their sixth set.

Matteo Berrettini vs Rafael Nadal – Match Statistics

Matteo Berrettini Rafael Nadal
14 Aces 5
2 Double faults 2
67% First serve in 69%
74% First serve points won 73%
44% Second serve points won 63%
1/2 Break points won 4/8
10/15 Net points won 12/16
38 Winners 28
39 Unforced errors 19
96 Total points won 108

Berrettini has one of the biggest forehands in the game and a memorable running pass helped him to 0-40 before he clinched the break with another winner.

Nadal had been dominant against Denis Shapovalov in the quarter-final at two sets to love up, before things became extremely complicated, and the sixth seed was looking significantly less sharp physically early in the fourth.

The 20-time Grand Slam winner dug deep to stay on terms and, when he sensed an opening on the Berrettini serve, he pounced.

Berrettini saved one break point at 3-4 after the rally of the match, only to dump a forehand in the net on the second. From there, Nadal went on to secure the contest and cut an extremely emotional figure after securing victory

After having six months out due to injury, and Nadal himself saying that those who have been close to him do not believe he is able to play at this level again, a sixth Australian Open final awaits on Sunday.

Emotional Medvedev beats Tsitsipas

Daniil Medvedev is into a second successive Australian Open final

Daniil Medvedev is into a second successive Australian Open final

Medvedev overcame a mid-match meltdown to defeat Stefanos Tsitsipas in the second semi-final of the day on Friday.

Medvedev’s 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-4 6-1 victory means he will play for a second successive Grand Slam title after his maiden success at the US Open last summer.

It is also the second year in a row he has made the final at Melbourne Park, having lost to Novak Djokovic 12 months ago.

Following two competitive sets, Medvedev launched into an extraordinary rant at the umpire focused on his opponent allegedly receiving coaching from his father Apostolos.

“His father can talk every point?” Medvedev shouted at Jaume Campistol. “Are you stupid? I’m talking to you, look at me. How can you be so bad in the semi-final of a Grand Slam?”

Daniil Medvedev was upset that the Chair Umpire was not punishing his opponent for what he believed was coaching from the player box

Daniil Medvedev was upset that the Chair Umpire was not punishing his opponent for what he believed was coaching from the player box

Medvedev finished his rant by then calling the official a “small cat”. After the match, the second seed said that his emotions could have cost him the match and he did apologise to Campistol when he shook the umpire’s hand.

“To be honest I don’t think that bad emotions help me too much,” Medvedev said.

“When I have them, many times I lose the match because of them as you lose concentration. As soon as I did it, I thought that it was a big mistake.

“I’m happy that I managed to concentrate again [after] and pull out some serves which brought me back into the match.”

After restoring his focus, Medvedev converted a crucial service break late in the third set. Tsitsipas was given a code violation for coaching too and the Russian second seed finished proceedings by winning the last five games of the match.

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