Slam chase means more to Nadal than winning the most majors

Matteo Berrettini

The No. 5-seeded Russian has gone from trolling angry crowds at Flushing Meadows to playing for the title after beating unseeded Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-3 in the semifinals Friday under Arthur Ashe Stadium's closed retractable roof.

But his five-set victory over five-time US Open champion Roger Federer in the quarter-finals demonstrated a resurgence in form as the 28-year-old reached his first Grand Slam semi-final since the 2017 Australian Open.

"He's one of the more solid players on tour", Nadal said of the 23-year-old, who will be appearing in his fourth consecutive final and first at a Grand Slam.

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates after match point against Matteo Berrettini of Italy (not pictured) in a semifinal match on day twelve of the 2019 US Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

The US Open match between Rafael Nadal vs Daniil Medvedev will be played at the iconic Arthur Ashe Stadium in NY. "So in the tiebreak I was a little bit lagging though, because at 4-0 (the tiebreaker was going) for him nearly 100 percent".

"Just as you guys will be watching it here, I'll be watching it with popcorn in front of the TV".

Russian fifth seed Medvedev has relished the role of tournament villain he was cast in after a controversial third-round win in which he aimed a middle-finger gesture to spectators. In March, he took down a huge score on Dominic Thiem winning Indian Wells at 80-1 and then he called Adrian Mannarino's Libema Open title at 25-1. "I will face the player who is winning more matches of the year and the player who is playing on the highest level since a while". After Berrettini won on serve to make it 6-4 and earn double set point, Nadal won the next four points to take the set.

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Nadal has been gaining on Federer in the Grand Slam title standings: A fourth championship at the U.S. Open will also move him within one of Federer's record total in the overall standings. They've been speaking on the phone before and after every match during Berrettini's run to his first tennis Grand Slam semifinal.

"I've given myself another chance, as I did at Wimbledon, as I did in Australia, as I did at Roland Garros". I didn't have so many chances. "He will be the toughest opponent and I will need to play my best".

"Very happy to be back into the final of the US Open", Nadal said. "I was a little bit lucky, no?" "Another final of the Grand Slam and another final here in Flushing Meadows means a lot to me", Nadal stated.

Sunday will be Nadal's 27th Grand Slam final of his decorated career, 18 of which have ended with the trophy in his hands and the 33-year-old says he won't be happy unless he's the victor again.

Nadal owns 12 French Open titles.

"All his season is incredible", Nadal stated.

Calvert knows Medvedev, a -178 favorite over Dimitrov, should have dropped the first set of his quarterfinal to Stan Wawrinka. "Very happy for everything". "That's one of Medvedev's best skills". "I won it and completely changed the momentum of the match".

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