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2019 US Open, Men's singles semi-final
Arthur Ashe Stadium, Billie Jean King Tennis Center, New York
Matteo Berrettini (Italy) vs Rafael Nadal (Spain)
Rafael Nadal will be out for another fast progression at the US Open when he takes on the Italian surprise packet Matteo Berrettini in the second semi-final. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage of the match, starting from around 8am (AEST).
There is absolutely nothing in the form or stats line to suggest that Berrettini, who had never been past the second round at a grand slam previously, was going to have a deep run through the US Open.
His form line was virtually nothing coming into the US Open. While he is an all-court, all-style player, he only played a single match between Wimbledon and the US Open, coming in the form of a first-round, straight-set loss to the unknow Juan Ignacio Londero at Cincinnati.
Instead of fumbling around at the US Open though, he made a statement in the first round by powering past Richard Gasquet, and has since gone on to beat Jordan Thompson, Alexei Popyrin, Andrey Rublev and Gael Monfils, getting past the entertaining Frenchman in a stunning five-set quarter-final.
He has played a strong brand of tennis, happy to explore the court and use his power, but that series of opponents, with all due respect, will have nothing on the challenge Nadal is about to offer him.
Nadal, who is a picture of consistency, made the semi-final at Wimbledon and won his only tournament in between at Montreal, before heading to New York and absolutely dominating.
He has barely raised a sweat, getting a walkover in the second round to help the fitness, and only dropping a single set, which came against Marin Cilic in the fourth round.
As with any match against Nadal, the only way to beat him is to upset the rhythm, employ different returning positions and play to the best level you possibly have, but most of the time, and in this match, it just probably isn’t going to be enough for Berrettini.
The pair have never played before this meeting, and the winner will advance to the final on Sunday evening US time.
Nadal is dominant. You feel the only thing that’ll slow him down here is himself, or injury. If he comes out and plays at the level we all know he is absolutely capable of, then this will be about as one-way traffic as it gets.
Nadal in straight sets.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of this match from around 8am (AEST) or at the conclusion of the first semi-final in the men’s tournament between Grigor Dimitrov and Daniil Medvedev on the Arthur Ashe Stadium, and don’t forget to get involved by adding a comment in the section below.
Start time: Around 8am (AEST)
Venue: Arthur Ashe Stadium, Billie Jean King Tennis Center, New York
TV: Live, ESPN, SBS
Online: Live, Kayo Sports, Foxtel App, Foxtel Now, Watch ESPN, Fetch TV, SBS on Demand
Betting: Nadal $1.04, Berrettini $10
Overall record: Never played