Nadal marches on to US Open semifinals

Rafael Nadal may be intimidated by Matteo Berrettini says Barazzutti

Rafael Nadal was very impressive in the previous round as he defeated Diego Schwartzman in straight sets. Second seed Nadal - a victor at Flushing Meadows in 2010, 2013 and 2017 - beat a spirited Schwartzman for the eighth time in as many conferences in a virtually three-hour match that completed early Thursday morning.

In terms of how he can refocus on the court for the remainder of the season after the 3-6 6-3 6-2 3-6 7-6 (7-5) defeat, Monfils believes he can draw on the experience of his 2014 quarter-final loss to Roger Federer at Flushing Meadows, when he had two match points against the Swiss legend.

Monfils was very efficient in the first set and had an early 2-0 lead in the second but Berrettini took over and broke the tired Frenchman twice before ultimately firing down an ace to seal a hold to love that levelled the match at 1-1.

"I'm so happy how I accepted the situation and challenge and kept going, point after point".

The three-time US Open champion has lost three semi-finals before now, two to Juan Martin del Potro (including last year's retirement through injury) and once to Andy Murray in 2008. "I have one day to think about it, honestly", he added. Big humidity. I am this kind of player where I sweat a bit.

Having won his 18th Grand Slam at Roland Garros in June and showing no dip in form, Nadal has put himself in the flawless position to go within one Grand Slam title of Roger Federer with victory at Flushing Meadows.

Berrettini, who had never made it beyond the fourth round of any Grand Slam before, has ventured into uncharted territory but what the ceiling is for the big Italian not even long time coach Vincenzo Santopadre could offer a guess.

"He's like a lion in the middle of the jungle". He makes big steps forward every week so it will be a big challenge.

"He knows how to play the important moments every single time". "I was trying to study where my opponents are going to serve in important moments".

More news: Manchester United full-back Matteo Darmian joins Parma on permanent transfer

He matched Corrado Barazzutti's run to the final 4 in 1977 after outlasting 13th-seeded Frenchman Gael Monfils Three-6, 6-Three, 6-2, Three-6, 7-6 (7/5) in three hours and 57 minutes.

The 33-year-old Spaniard, forced to retire from last year's semi-finals with knee pain, is feeling healthy now and ready to pounce upon Italy's 24th-seeded Matteo Berrettini.

Now he takes on Nadal, someone Berrettini called "the greatest fighter ever in this sport". 'I was young. These guys, I mean, six hours.

Matteo Berrettini is just the second Italian to reach the men's US Open semi-finals. That match give me confidence.

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.

"It's a sign for me, you know, for the first point of the breaker, when I say I want to be aggressive, I return a decent return with my forehand".

"So I always try to speak in real terms, and he's one of the best players of the world".

Nadal won a third U.S. Open title in the same year and reached the semifinals again in 2018. "I saw, like, 100 of his matches".

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