Rafael Nadal Advances to 2019 US Open Final with Win vs. Matteo Berrettini

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorSeptember 7, 2019

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates his victory over 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 York on September 6, 2019. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP)        (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

No. 2 Rafael Nadal will have a chance to win his 19th major title after defeating No. 24 Matteo Berrettini 7-6 (8-6), 6-4, 6-1 in the U.S. Open semifinals on Friday.

ESPN @espn

Nadal wins it! Rafael Nadal defeated Matteo Berrettini to advance to the #USOpen Final on Sunday. https://t.co/mS0IAFLWII

Nadal's serve proved dominant all night, as he won 90 percent of his first-serve points and 74 percent of his second-serve points. He also committed just 18 unforced errors versus Berrettini's 44.

His power was on full display, with this forehand winner just one example:

US Open Tennis @usopen

Absorbing the power ✅ Unleashing the power ✅ Classic @RafaelNadal | #USOpen https://t.co/vcqxbpgwIb

Nadal also pulled off a magical third-set shot to help close out the match:

US Open Tennis @usopen

A little extra magic as he gets within a game of the final... 🔥 @RafaelNadal 🔥 #USOpen https://t.co/nRIKApoL45

Berrettini hung tough for the first set and even led Nadal 4-0 in a tiebreaker. However, the 33-year-old Spaniard held off two Berrettini set points before eventually winning the tiebreak 8-6.

That tiebreak win gave Nadal all the momentum he needed. He forced Berrettini to three break points before finally winning one to take a 4-3 edge in the second set. Nadal then held serve the rest of the set for the 6-4 win.

Jose Morgado of Diario Record put Nadal's performance in perspective:

José Morgado @josemorgado

Rafael Nadal saves two set points in the first set, doesn't get broken all match and beats Matteo Berrettini 7-6(6), 6-4, 6-1 to reach the #USOpen final for the 5th time. His 27th Grand Slam final... [getty] https://t.co/wqvoDg8LHe

The left-hander then cruised down the stretch, breaking Berrettini three times and only losing one point while serving.

Berrettini's tournament is over, but the arrow is trending up for the 23-year-old Italian after a fourth-round finish at Wimbledon before his semifinal showing in the U.S. Open. He had not reached the fourth round in any major before this year.

Nadal will now face No. 5 Daniil Medvedev in the men's final. The 23-year-old Russian has only lost four sets during the U.S. Open and is coming off a dominant semifinal showing where he beat Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets.

Nadal beat Medvedev 6-3, 6-0 in their only matchup, which occurred at the 2019 Rogers Cup finals in August. However, Medvedev comes into this match on a torrid pace, as Ben Rothenberg of the New York Times noted:

Ben Rothenberg @BenRothenberg

Daniil Medvedev’s incredible Summer 2019: Washington:🥈 Montreal:🥈 Cincinnati:🏆 #USOpen:🏆or🥈 Medvedev beats Dimitrov 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-3 to reach his first Slam final; he awaits either Berrettini or Nadal.

ESPN will televise the matchup on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET.