Published: Tue, September 10, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Rafael Nadal From Spain Enters US Open Finals

Rafael Nadal From Spain Enters US Open Finals

With Corrado Barazzutti, Italy's only other male semifinalist at the US Open, back in 1977, in the stands yesterday, Berrettini used his big forehand to produce 24 winners. Still, sportsbooks peg Nadal as a -1700 favorite (risk $1,700 to win $100) in the latest Nadal vs. Berrettini odds, with Berrettini getting +1080 as the underdog.

The other men's semi features No. 5 Daniil Medvedev vs Grigor Dimitrov, while on the women's side, Serena Williams faces Elina Svitolina and Belinda Bencic takes on Bianca Andreescu.

The Russian has revelled in his role as crowd villain during his charge to the title match (Monday, 6am AEST), giving spectators the bird and then thanking them for driving him through a tough first week.

The match was played at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

"Winning the first set would have been big", Berrettini said.

Nadal saved two set points in his first-set tie-break against Berrettini, and was mightily relieved to push on and win the second semi-final 7-6 (6), 6-4, 6-1.

Next up for Nadal is a showdown with big-serving Russian Medvedev, who was a straight sets victor over Grigor Dimitrov earlier in the day.

The one he lost? However, a number of misfires by the 33-year-old Spaniard allowed Schwartzman to get back into each set.

Nadal buried Medvedev 6-3 6-0 in Montreal last month, in the pair's only previous meeting.

Dimitrov's run to the semifinals was perhaps the most unexpected development of a tournament defined by surprises in NY.

Cramps, a shoulder injury, abductor problem and quadricep complaint have all arose, and now he gets warrior Nadal.

"Talking about Rafa, it's tough to find words", said Medvedev.

"He's one of the more solid players on tour, " Nadal said. But the world No. 2 skipped Cincinnati, where Medvedev was champion the following week. He's just a machine, a beast on the court.

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Berrettini and Medvedev, both just 23, have shown signs that this sort of thing could be on the way.

"The first set was a little bit frustrating because I had a lot of break points and you don't want to be in a tiebreak against a player like Matteo", Nadal said. "It's not going to be a amusing thing, but it's going to be an unbelievable thing to live".

Medvedev rips a towel away from a ball boy earlier in the tournament. "But during that match, I was born and died 15 or 16 times, '". I started the match with a double fault like close to the one I did on the match point. Very fast backhand. His backhands gave me a lot of trouble.

"I think after I was playing better than him". I know what to expect.

"I feel she's so much more confident now because she knows she's ready".

That might not mean a different outcome. Nadal will be the first top-20 player he will have encountered.

Russian fifth seed Medvedev has relished the role of tournament villain he was cast in after a controversial third-round win in which he aimed a middle-finger gesture to spectators.

The incidents came three years after he was defaulted from a second-tier Challenger for making a racist remark and two years after he collected a fine at Wimbledon for throwing coins toward the chair umpire following a defeat.

But after beating Dimitrov in straight sets to make Sunday's showpiece, the 23-year-old declared: "I love the United States of America!"

"So I had to go for something very hard".

"I am surprised. That's what I've been working for all my life". Sometimes it still happens.

They were surely watching somewhere - a one-time can't-miss prospect who finally delivered on some of that potential. Nadal will go for his 19th Grand Slam title on Sunday.

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