Rafael Nadal is just one win away from his third Grand Slam final of 2019. The Spaniard is in a rich vein of form in Majors, having made the semifinals or better at 10 of his last 12 outings. The one man standing in his way is Italy's 24th seed Matteo Berrettini.
The 23-year-old Italian made his way to the semifinals after a thrilling win over the mercurial Gael Monfils last night. Berrettini won a fifth-set tie break in the match that lasted just under four hours. He will be high on confidence ahead of his first-ever Grand Slam semifinal.
However, he will be up against Nadal, who is a hot favorite to win not only this match but also the entire tournament. The Spaniard will be buoyed by the fact that the finish line is in sight.
With early exits for Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer (who headlined the top half of the draw), the US Open is assured of a first time Grand Slam finalist and Nadal will fancy his chances of winning a fourth crown here if he were to make the finals on Sunday.
He has a great record against both Daniil Medvedev and Grigor Dimitrov, having beaten both of them comfortably this year.
However, he first needs to find a way past Berrettini, who has played some inspired tennis thus far. His ultra-aggressive approach has worked against all his opponents as they have struggled to deal with the pace of his forehand. However, Nadal presents a different challenge altogether.
The Spaniard will not be intimidated by long baseline exchanges, and it is the Italian who will have to try and shorten the points. When pushed into a corner, Berrettini is prone to making errors and this was evident in his quarterfinal match against Monfils. Against a gritty opponent like Nadal, he will surely find himself in such positions again.
Nadal definitely has the upper hand in this match and is the overwhelming favorite to make the final.
Prediction: Rafael Nadal to win in straight sets.Published 05 Sep 2019, 22:59 IST