Nadal ends Berrettini dream and reaches US Open final
Rafael Nadal is eyeing his fourth US Open title after beating Matteo Berrettini 7-6 6-4 6-1 to reach the final in New York.
The Spaniard, who triumphed at Flushing Meadows in 2010, 2013 and 2017, will take on Daniil Medvedev in Sunday's showpiece final after he powered through his last-four clash on Arthur Ashe.
Berrettini at one point indicated that a mighty tussle would be on the cards as he raced to a 4-0 lead in the opening set tie-break, but thereafter Nadal stamped his authority on proceedings.
After the bizarre tie-break, which Nadal eventually won 8-6, the 33-year-old assumed control with a two-set lead after two hours - and the Italian could not respond.
The second set was much more comfortable for the Spaniard, and the third even more so as he immediately seized a break of serve to ensure his opponent could not get a foothold.
Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates a point against Matteo Berrettini of Italy during their Singles Men's Semi-finals match at the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New YorkGetty Images
When Nadal broke for a second time in the third set to grab a 4-1 lead, the match was as good as over and he was able to coast through to seal it.
It has been a remarkable run for the 23-year-old Italian, but he simply did not have enough quality to reach the final against such a formidable opponent.
"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," said Nadal.
"I survived that moment and finally I had the break ... I think I started to play with more calm and was more aggressive.
"I just tried to stay focused on the next point."
The pair's only previous meeting took place in the final of the Montreal Masters and Nadal was a convincing 6-3 6-0 victor.