US Open 2019 Highlights, Rafael Nadal vs Matteo Berrettini, semi-finals tennis match: Nadal sets up Medvedev final

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US Open 2019 Highlights, Rafael Nadal vs Matteo Berrettini, semi-finals tennis match: Nadal sets up Medvedev final
  • 07:58 (IST)

    We'll see you tomorrow for the final of the women's singles where Serena Williams faces her last hurdle in her bid to win the record-equalling 24th Grand Slam, when she plays against Canada's 19-year-old Bianca Andreescu. 

    Thank you for tuning in to the live coverage of the US Open men's singles semifinals. Goodbye for now!

  • 07:58 (IST)

    So, both the men's singles semifinals ending in straight sets.

    Although, the scoreline can't reflect the level of tennis on display. From the long and taxing rallies between Medvedev and Dimitrov to Nadal's battle with the firepower in Berrettini's forehands, it has been a thoroughly engaging day at Flushing Meadows. 

    Sunday's final will see Nadal, appearing in his 27th Grand Slam final, battle Medvedev, who'll play his first final at a major. Can the Russian supplant one of the 'Big 3' of men's tennis or will the Nadal-Djokovic-Federer juggernaut build on their monopoly over the Grand Slams? 

    23-year-old Medvedev vs 33-year-old Nadal. The future of men's tennis taking on one of its most decorated players. It promises to be a cracker of a match. 

  • 07:47 (IST)

    Daniil Medvedev making amends with the crowd. He will face the second-seed Rafael Nadal in Sunday's final. 

  • 07:45 (IST)

    Nadal: "Congrats to Matteo for a great match. He has a great game and I'm confident that he has a great career ahead. I'm looking forward to Daniil Medvedev. He deserves to be in the final since he has played well throughout the year. He has been the player to beat this summer and I'm eager to face his challenge."

    "All the very best to Serena Williams. After all that she has been through, it would be great if she could top it all off by winning the title here. Looking forward to her match."

  • 07:40 (IST)

    Nadal* 7-6, 6-4, 6-1 Berrettini 

    The Spaniard looks more emphatic as he humbles the brawny Italian big server. Full marks to Matteo Berrettini for wowing the crowd with his aggressive intent and speedy play at the outset. For now though, all eyes on Nadal who enters his third major final this year, fifth at the US Open and 27th career Grand Slam final. 

  • 07:39 (IST)

    Record chasing Nadal!

  • 07:34 (IST)

    How exceptionally good is that?

  • 07:34 (IST)

    Nadal* 7-6, 6-4, 5-1 Berrettini

    It's one-way traffic now and the Italian can barely catch his breath. 

  • 07:31 (IST)

    Nadal* 7-6, 6-4, 4-1 Berrettini 

    Yet another break of serve for the Spaniard. The inadequacies in Berrettini's game are becoming more evident by the minute as Nadal cruises through. Lots to learn for the Italian young gun who has got the best seat to this old school masterclass by Nadal. 

  • 07:31 (IST)

    Great stat on surge of Berrettini and Italian tennis

  • 07:28 (IST)

    Berrettini* 6-7, 4-6, 1-3 Nadal 

    The Italian young gun needs to tighten up the play on the second serve where he can seldom hold up his end. Nadal finds his return of serve and makes the most of those rallies. 
     

  • 07:19 (IST)

    Nadal* 7-6, 6-4, 2-0 Berrettini

    After a couple of sets of toe-to-toe rallies and scoreline, Nadal looks to be running through this third set, going up 2-0 against Berrettini, holding his service game to love rather easily. 

  • 07:15 (IST)

    Nadal* 7-6, 6-4, 1-0, Berrettini

    Nadal cutting through his brawny opponent here, literally, targeting his forehands at the Italian's torso who looked stranded at the net in his failed bid to volley. The Spaniard gets the early break of serve. 

  • 07:11 (IST)

  • 07:07 (IST)

    Nadal* 7-6, 6-4 Berrettini

    Serve and volley to close out the first two points by the Spaniard who races away to 40-0. Berrettini sends one long and Nadal is now up by two sets. 

    Berrettini's inherent strength can't break through the guile and experience of Nadal who's been in this situation many times in his glittering career. 

  • 07:03 (IST)

    Berrettini* 4-5 Nadal

    Berrettini manages to hold but it will be a supremely difficult task to break Nadal when he's serving for the second set. 

  • 06:59 (IST)

    Nadal* 5-3 Berrettini 

    Nadal's blistering strokeplay shows why he is a 360-degree player. A highly effective serve plus every shot in the book. A tough hold for the second-seeded Spaniard but he manages to inch ahead 5-3 with Berrettini having to serve to stay in the set. 

  • 06:50 (IST)

    Nadal* 4-3 Berrettini

    Berrettini is too slow when playing the approach shot. He plays right within Nadal's arc who has no qualms in playing an easy passing shot as his opponent finds himself stranded too close to the net. 

    Nadal is the first to get the break of serve and the Italian is down by a break and a set. 

  • 06:46 (IST)

    Nadal* 3-3 Berrettini

    Nadal is forcing the Italian to scurry across both sides repeatedly, tiring his opponent before winning the point easily by drawing an error from the Italian. . 

  • 06:43 (IST)

    Berrettini* 3-2 Nadal

    Berrettini serves well to pocket the service game in a jiffy. He serves down the wrong backhand of his opponent and then changes the direction of play. It works well since the pace on his forehands helps the ball run through the court and even Nadal can't chase down the Berretini returns. 

  • 06:38 (IST)

    Nadal* 2-2 Berrettini

    An easy hold this for Nadal. Berrettini hasn't managed to threaten the Nadal serve yet. 

  • 06:36 (IST)

  • 06:35 (IST)

    Berrettini* 2-1 Nadal

    Smart play from Nadal. It's evident that the Berrettini backhand doesn't hold up well. So the Spaniard keeps going to it, sending his angled crosscourt forehands down the Italian's wrong side. Ultimately, Berrettini commits the error as Nadal brings up his ninth breakpoint of the match. 

    Fails to convert it yet, again. The Spaniard was looking to again draw the error from the Berrettini backhand but the Italian flitted across, in position for the inside-out forehand which thunders past the second-seed Nadal who can only look on. 

    Berrettini pushed to the brink yet again on his serve but holds still. 

  • 06:29 (IST)

    Nadal* 1-1 Berrettini

    The consistency with which Nadal can serve in the same areas, point after point is impressive. He holds to love and the second set advances on serve. 

  • 06:26 (IST)

    Berrettini* 6-7, 1-0 Nadal

    When his back is against the wall, the Italian, more often than not, lands a first serve which sets the tone for the entire point. He staves off the breakpoint and manages to hold. 

  • 06:23 (IST)

  • 06:19 (IST)

    Stat check after that first set. Either point here and there and the numbers tell different story!

  • 06:18 (IST)

    Nadal* 7-6 Berrettini

    The turnaround is complete and it has Nadal hopping in excitement. When engaged in the rallies, Berrettini can't keep calm but finds himself going for the risky winners which seldom land on the court. The unforced errors pile up and before you know it, Nadal caps off the set 7-6 (6). 

  • 06:18 (IST)

    First set Rafa!

  • 06:13 (IST)

    Nadal is standing way back in his court to be able to find the counter-punch to Berrettini's assaults. Every extra ball that Nadal sends back only invites a more thundering forehand from the Italian

    Trailing 2-5 in the tiebreak, Nadal comfortably holds his two serves to get the tiebreak to 4-5. 

    Berrettini again impresses with the big serve followed by the drop shot. This is proving to be an amazingly fruitful one-two combo for the Italian who keeps mixing it up. He leads 6-4 but fails to serve it out and Nadal doesn't miss out on the lapse. 

    The Spaniard locks it up at 6-6. The tiebreak goes on. 

  • 06:04 (IST)

  • 06:04 (IST)

    Berrettini* 6-6 Nadal

    The Italian takes it to a tiebreak and what a treat he has been to watch. Supreme power and strength has made him a crowd favourite here. Nadal finds himself in unchartered territory. 

  • 05:58 (IST)

    Nadal* 6-5 Berrettini

    Nadal holds to love here. He's technically more adept than the Italian and it's showing through. It remains to be seen how long the Italian can hold his service games. 

  • 05:55 (IST)

    Berrettini* 5-5 Nadal

    When Nadal stretches the rallies, Berrettini can't keep up, inevitably erring on his backhand return. The Italian saves a set-point with another ace, inciting cheers from the crowd here which is enjoying this battle between strength and skill. 

    Berrettini keeps playing the drop shot too, the change-up working well for him. He holds again. Nadal ought to be dismayed there. 

  • 05:48 (IST)

    Nadal* 5-4 Berrettini

    Nadal is pumped up after getting through a tough service game and rightly so. The Italian is showing that he's not all brawn but can get the deft crosscourt winner to land in too for a winner. 

  • 05:45 (IST)

    Berrettini* 4-4 Nadal

    The Italian's forehands carry him through even as Nadal threatens with the break. The crowd is wowed meanwhile with the raw power that the Italian is showing. 

  • 05:39 (IST)

    Just when you think you've got Rafa beat!

  • 05:34 (IST)

    Nadal* 4-3 Berrettini 

    Nadal with forehand winners of his own. Yet again, the Spaniard pushes his opponent in a corner with the first serve, sends a forehand down the other open court. 

  • 05:30 (IST)

    Berrettini* 3-3 Nadal

    Berrettini's second serve exposes his inadequacies vis-a-vis Nadal. He's frequently pushed into a corner and leaves the court open for a Nadal winner. 

    The Italian still holds. A well-placed serve followed by a drop shot on the other side. Bludgeons the ball without much fuss, not so much a grunt, routine forehands for him which draw the error from Nadal. He draws level. 

  • 05:25 (IST)

    Nadal* 3-2 Berrettini

    Easy breezy hold for Nadal and he continues to have his nose in front. 

  • 05:22 (IST)

    Berrettini* 2-2 Nadal

    Berrettini fails to get his backhand returns to stick and maybe the heavy topspin on Nadal's returns has something to do with it. These are contrasting playing styles. Nadal plays his forehands with the heavy bottom hand lacing them with topspin while Berrettini plays them flatter which sees them zip across the surface. 

    When Nadal sends a high-arc forehand, Berrettini hops and skims the ball, a booming sound echoing. No chance for Nadal. He holds again and the set advances on serve. 
     

  • 05:17 (IST)

    Nadal* 2-1 Berrettini

    A comfortable hold for Nadal. His serves may not be as booming as Berrettini but there's pinpoint accuracy, down the 'T' which draws the errors from the Italian routinely. A tame return of serve is to be expected and Nadal moves forward and swats the ball. 

  • 05:13 (IST)

    Berrettini* 1-1 Nadal

    Berrettini gets off to a sluggish start on his serve before racking up the aces and the one-two combos. Nadal though isn't letting up. He needs only that return of serve to land in and thereon, he stands a better chance of winning the point. 

    Berrettini holds on though, a tough hold of serve for him but he gets the game with a deceptive drop shot. Thundering forehands and big serves aren't all that his game is about. 

  • 05:04 (IST)

    Nadal* 1-0 Berrettini

    A two-shot combo followed by an ace from Nadal to start off proceedings. Berrettini gets a return in and hits his forehands flat and fast, down both sides of the court for his solitary point of the game as Nadal bundles it up soon. An easy hold for him over the 24th seeded Italian. 

  • 05:03 (IST)

    Highlight of the day thus far

  • 05:01 (IST)

    Matteo Berrettini aims to become the first Italian in over 40 years to contest a Grand Slam final. In his path lies Rafael Nadal who'll start off proceedings at Arthur Ashe. 

  • 04:55 (IST)

    Rafael Nadal and Matteo Berrettini are on the court for the pre-match warm-ups. 

  • 04:53 (IST)

    Before the match, Rafael Nadal says that the crowd at Flushing Meadows has been very appreciative over the years for him. On playing against Berrettini, he says the big serve will be a challenge, lauds the Italian as a 'quality' player. 

  • 04:35 (IST)

    Stat check:

    Daniil Medvedev now has won the most number of matches on ATP tour in 2019: 50 (Nadal 45, Federer 43, Djokoic 41)

    Medvedev becomes the youngest US Open men's singles finalist since Novak Djokovic, who was 23 in 2010

    Medvedev has been the finalist in Washington, Canada, Cincinnati and now US Open. Only players earlier to have such success on the hard court in same year? Lendl (1982) and Agassi (1995). [Both Lendl and Agassi lost the US Open final though]

  • 04:32 (IST)

    First Russian US Open finallist in 19 years!

New York: Medvedev has ridden a hot streak into the other semi-final, where he unexpectedly finds himself up against an opponent few expected to go deep into the championship.

Medvedev has a 19-2 record since Wimbledon, racking up three straight appearances in finals, losing in Washington and Montreal before claiming the Cincinnati title.

The Russian fifth seed has continued his winning run at the US Open, though his path has not been without obstacles and been taken to four sets in each of his past four matches.

His run at Flushing Meadows is the deepest he has gone in a Grand Slam but in the semi-finals faces a resurgent Dimitrov who is brimming with confidence after beating Federer in a five-set quarter-final.

The Bulgarian, who has slipped down the rankings to 78th from a high of third, arrived in New York having been eliminated in the first round in five of his six previous tournaments but now stands on the brink of his first Grand Slam final.

Rafael Nadal vs Matteo Berrettini

Only Matteo Berrettini stands between Rafa Nadal and a fifth final at Flushing Meadows where the stage has been all but cleared for the Spaniard to claim a 19th grand slam title.

The draw always looked kind to second seed Nadal, who was guaranteed of avoiding fellow greats Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer until the final.

But with those two swept away on the other side of the draw, Nadal instead will meet either Daniil Medvedev or Grigor Dimitrov if he gets to Sunday’s final.

First, the Spaniard must get past 23-year-old Italian Berrettini in what will be the pair’s first encounter.

Big serving Berrettini is having a breakout year, with two titles under his belt, one on grass and one on clay, and is now on the brink of becoming the first Italian male grand slam finalist in more than 40 years.

While a well-rested Nadal has breezed through to the final four, dropping only one set and even enjoying a walkover in the second round, Berrettini has shed sweat and tears to claw his way this far.

Taken to four sets in each of his first three matches by unseeded opponents, he was later stretched to the limit by Gael Monfils in a quarter-final thriller on Wednesday that went to a final-set tiebreak.

How well Berrettini, in his eighth grand slam, recovers from that four-hour marathon could be crucial.

With inputs from Reuters

 

Updated Date: Sep 07, 2019 07:59:02 IST