Tennis
US Open

'You can't expect an easy opponent,' warns Nadal ahead of Berrettini battle

Share this with
Copy
Share this article

Rafael Nadal

Image credit: Getty Images

ByEurosport
06/09/2019 at 17:10 | Updated 06/09/2019 at 18:10

Rafael Nadal is taking nothing for granted as he bids to close in on Roger Federer's Grand Slam record.

Nadal is seeking a fourth US Open title which would move him to within a major of matching Federer's tally of 20.

  • Nadal into semis after big fight from Schwartzman
  • Nadal and Serena the daunting obstacles as fellow semi-finalists target maiden triumph
Tennis

Toni Nadal explains what makes Rafa's forehand so unique and special

22/05/2020 AT 09:14

Nadal is the only one of the 'big three' still standing in New York after Federer and defending champion Novak Djokovic were knocked out.

But if Nadal needed a reminder that it will not be all plain sailing at Flushing Meadows, he got one when 20th seed Diego Schwartzman broke his serve four times in Wednesday night's quarter-final.

Ivan Lendl: The target that keeps Federer, Nadal and Djokovic so motivated

00:02:18

World No 2 Nadal prevailed 6-4 7-5 6-2 and faces Matteo Berrettini, the Italian 24th seed, for a place in the final against either Daniil Medvedev or Grigor Dimitrov.

Nadal has never played the 23-year-old, who reached his first grand slam semi-final after coming through five gruelling sets against Gael Monfils.

The Spaniard said: "He is having a great year. He's in the semi-finals, winning a lot of good matches. In the semi-finals of a grand-slam match you can't expect an easy opponent. You can't expect an easy match.

Rafael Nadal is heading into his 39th Grand Slam semi-final

Image credit: Getty Images

I really believe that if you want to win tournaments, you need to go through tough opponents like I had against Marin (Cilic) and against Diego.

"He was playing great the whole event, and now another player is playing great. He's serving huge, big forehands, moving well, and big confidence because he's having a great year."

Berrettini was just nine when he first became aware of Nadal, watching his epic five-set final win over Guillermo Coria at the 2005 Italian Open.

"They were showing the match on the TV for free, but it was, like, a channel that was about cartoons," he recalled. "I was young. These guys, I mean, six hours. Come on! I want to catch my cartoons."

Matteo Berrettini is playing in his first Grand Slam semi-final

Image credit: Getty Images

Dimitrov and Medvedev meet in the first semi-final, a match-up not many would have tipped in the side of the draw which featured Federer and Djokovic.

Injuries have seen Bulgarian Dimitrov, a former world number three, slip to 78 in the rankings making his win over Federer - his first in eight attempts - all the more surprising.

It was that low that I don't even want to go there any more,' he said of a miserable year.

"It was obviously injury, losing points, ranking. That's the lowest point of any player. The past six, seven months have been pretty rough for me. But I had somebody to lean on, my friends, my family.

"Next thing you know, you're almost end of the year, you have a result like that. It's pretty special to me."

Tennis

Exclusive: Nadal's inner circle on his elite mentality, and being a 'beast' on court

21/05/2020 AT 11:19
Tennis

60 Second Pro: The secrets to stringing Rafa's rackets

20/05/2020 AT 15:37
Related Topics
TennisUS OpenRafael NadalMatteo Berrettini
Share this with
Copy
Share this article

Latest News

Tennis

Dressed for French Open, Kvitova wins all-Czech crown on return to action

23 MINUTES AGO

Latest Videos

Tennis

From watching hero Graf to winning the French Open herself – Henin on her favourite RG moments

00:01:46

Most popular

Transfers

Icardi's decision and why that impacts Lautaro - Euro Papers

YESTERDAY AT 13:41
View more