US Open 2019: Rafael Nadal overcame the big-serving Mateo Berrettini in the semifinals of the US Open 7-6, 6-4, 6-1 to set up his fifth US Open final. He also earned the right to play for a 19th major title. The 24th seed showed that he could run Rafael Nadal down to the wire, but it all seemed to change once the first set was out of the way. Nadal changed his gameplan quickly to counter the big-booming services of Matteo. He stood deep while receiving his serve. The tactic seemed to work well for the 18-time Slam champion. It was the unforced errors from Matteo that would hurt him. Matteo committed 42 unforced errors compared to 16 from Nadal. Nadal, like always, dominated with his groundstrokes. Even at the end of the match, he seemed to have a lot of energy still left in him.
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He will now lock horns with Russian Daniil Medvedev in the finals.
“The first set was frustrating with all the breakpoints … and I was a little bit lucky in the tiebreak. After that, the match changed and I am super happy to be back in the final of the US Open,” said Nadal after the win.
Rafael Nadal is one US Open win away from tying John McEnroe for second all-time in the Open Era. Only Roger Federer, Pete Sampras and Jimmy Connors have won the event 5 times in that era.
What made the difference was that Nadal broke Matteo four times whereas the Italian did not even create a breakpoint opportunity.
Rafael Nadal now has a chance to become the first man in the Open Era to win five major titles after his 30th birthday.
He would also join Jimmy Connors (1982-83) as the only men in that time to win the multiple US Opens after turning 30 in the Open Era.