Matteo Berrettini faces Nadal In Australian Open semi-final Editorial credit: FiledIMAGE /

Berrettini faces Nadal in Australian Open semi-final

News Sport

Berrettini is the first Italian to make the semi-finals at the Australian Open. Standing between him and the final is former World No. 1 Rafael Nadal.

At 04.30 CET, Matteo Berrettini will step onto the Rod Laver court to face Spaniard Rafael Nadal. At stake is a place in the Australian Open final.

Berrettini is brimming with pride as the first Italian to reach the semifinals in Australian Open history. But the seventh seed feels there is unfinished business, having been forced to withdraw last year at Melbourne Park with an abdominal tear.

“Great opportunity again for me,” he said of his match-up with Nadal.

“After two years and a half playing this guy that doesn’t need anything more, from my words. I watch him so many times in this tournament and other tournaments, cheering for him, and playing with him in Rod Laver in semifinals is something that I dreamed about when I was a kid.

“But now I really want to win this match. I know I can do it. It’s gonna be a really tough one. I’m in the semis in a Slam for the third time, so it means that this is my level and I want to get further.”

Can Berrettini claim his first Grand Slam?

Berrettini has made great strides in recent seasons, culminating in a run to a maiden Masters 1000 final in Madrid and his first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon last year.

That run ended at the hands of Novak Djokovic, his tormentor at three straight majors in 2021.

As we all know, Djokovic did not feature in the tournament this year. The furore around his vaccination status ended with his deportation from Australia. That put paid to his chances of becoming the Greatest Of All Time with a 21st Grand Slam win. However, that is still a possibility for Nadal, currently tied with Federer and Djokovic on 20 Slam titles.

Victory over Pablo Carreno Busta in the fourth round at Melbourne Park last Sunday meant Berrettini had reached the quarterfinals or better at the past four majors – the first man born in the 1990s to achieve the feat.

Now, only two matches – and a giant of a player – stand between him and the Australian Open trophy.

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