Rafael Nadal Faces First-Timers This Weekend At The US Open
by Staff | September 6th, 2019, 2:52 pm

Rafael Nadal is far and away the favorite not just today but this weekend to take home his 4th career US Open and 19th Slam.

Nadal is the only remaining of the four players who has won a Slam or even reached Slam final, or previous made the US Open final four. His opposition today is Matteo Berrettini. The 23-year-old from Rome is only the second Italian man to make the US Open semifinals. Berrettini, though, just went five long grueling sets in a win Wednesday over Gael Monfils.

” I think he’s the greatest fighter ever in this sport. It’s unbelievable he’s doing,” Berrettini said. “I admire him, like, the way he’s on the court, you know. Like his attitude is something that it’s — I think it’s close to the perfection. He’s always, like, 5-0, 40-Love down, he’s always there. It’s something that’s not that easy to do. So bravo.”

But the young kid possesses a massive serve with a strong forehand to complement. Berrettini lost to Roger Federer in the fourth round at Wimbledon easily, so this will be his biggest test since then.

“He’s in semifinals,” Nadal said. “Berrettini is having a great year. He’s in semifinals winning a lot of good matches, so what you can expect in a semifinals of a Grand Slam match. You can’t expect an easy opponent. You can’t expect an easy match.”

In the early semifinal, Daniil Medvedev will try to keep his hot hand going against Grigor Dimitrov. The 23-year-old Medvedev has won 19 of his last 21 matches with three straight finals. A fourth today would be the biggest of his young career.

“I am surprised,” Medvedev said of his run. “That’s what I’ve been working for all my life, especially the last two and a half years. That’s where I’ve been going step by step. I was improving my rankings. But I am still really surprised with the way this last four weeks have been going.”

Meanwhile, Dimitrov is playing in his third Grand Slam semifinal at 2014 Wimbledon and 2017 Australia. The 27-year-old Bulgarian has pulled himself out of a major funk this week. He arrived ranked #78 with just one win in his last seven events. Now, he’ll face the Russian for the biggest final of his career.

“I think the past six, seven months have been pretty rough for me,” Dimitrov said. “But I had somebody to lean on, my friends, my family. I kept on believing again in the work, the rehab I had to put behind my shoulder, the exercise, the practice, fixing up the racquet a little bit. There were so many things I had to adjust in such a small but big period of time.

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

No. 2 and three-time US Open champion Rafael Nadal is joined by three first-time semi-finalists in Flushing Meadows: No. 5 Daniil Medvedev, No. 24 seed Matteo Berrettini and unseeded Grigor Dimitrov. Nadal is in his seventh consecutive Grand Slam semi-final, eighth overall at the US Open and 33rd in his career, while Dimitrov is playing in his third Grand Slam semi-final. Medvedev and Berrettini are making their Grand Slam semi-final debuts.

Medvedev and Berrettini are both 23 years old. This is the first Grand Slam tournament semi-final with two players 23 (or younger) since last year’s Australian Open with Hyeon Chung (21) and Kyle Edmund (23). The last US Open SFs with two players 23 (or younger) was Juan Martin del Potro (20) and Novak Djokovic (22) in 2009

This is also the first Grand Slam semi-final with three players born in the 1990s: Medvedev (1996), Berrettini (1996) and Dimitrov (1991). One of the three is looking to become the first Grand Slam champion born in the 1990s. There have been two finalists: Dominic Thiem at Roland Garros in 2018-19 and Milos Raonic at Wimbledon in 2016. The last time there were three first-time US Open semi-finalists was in 2004 with Roger Federer, Tim Henman
and Joachim Johansson.

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18 Comments for Rafael Nadal Faces First-Timers This Weekend At The US Open

j-kath Says:

Come on Rafa!!!!

Van Persie Says:

If Medv wins this aswell, it is a “miracle” . At the beginning of the match, Dim looked like the fave to me. Same happened with Bibi last night, when I was sure after the firat couple of games, that Belinda would win.

Raj Says:

Dimi is playong good. He deserves a set atleast.. but Medv is smart on big points.

Raj Says:

Medv secured second set as well.. No way Dimi can pull this out.

skeezer Says:

Congrats Med, what a roll this guy is on. Only two things will stop him winning the title and they aren’t Rafa. Stamina and nerves.

Raj Says:

Great win.. if he wins the title, it will be much better than DelPo’s 2009 run .. Delpo had great summer run and beat Fedal. Medv reached all 4 finals, beat Nole…

RZ Says:

“The last time there were three first-time US Open semi-finalists was in 2004 with Roger Federer, Tim Henman and Joachim Johansson.”

I had totally forgotten all about Joachim Johansson!

FedExpress Says:

Pathetic by Dimitrov.

And what a mental midget the italian guy is. led with a double mini break in the TB. multiple SPs. Choker. Bending over

FedExpress Says:

what a lucker this nadal guy is.

FedExpress Says:

Plays an injured player now in the final.

Vrael Says:

Medvedev is a talent. Good on him on making the finals.

But he faces Rafa next who is just superior mentally,physically and as a shotmaker.

Congrats on the 19th Rafa. You deserve it.


Madmax Says:

Good luck to Alison and Okie. Must be shocked that Nadal is the in final, but he has played well. I thought Novak would pick up the title, but was hugely disappointed about his retirement.

Federer of course had played sketchily from the start, but got into his rhythm, which I was pleased about – and thought he would get at least to the SF’s…but not to be.

Of course Rafa has the best chance of winning and my goodness – what a year for the guy who was written off with injury. He comes back for more and he gets it!

Okie, good luck to you. Enjoy the match and what a maiden final for the new kid on the block – Medv – who really has come from nowhere. No one expects him to win, so he can play freely and without stress. I believe.

FedExpress, relax – it is what it is and let’s celebrate this golden age of tennis, whoever is in the final –

Truth Says:

Lay off the nonsense about Novak.
Luck? You mean the so-called top 6 Blake, Baghdatis & Roddick in draws?
Funny how when Novak’s injured and Fred can’t handle another US Open, the Fred floons cry about easy draws. GOAT, my ass.

Giles Says:

Nobody is injured – Don’t make up stories FE! 🤡

Daniel Says:

Could not see the matches yesterday,family events all day.

Congrats Medved on his first Major final and Nadal on his 7th final of the last 12 Slams (Djoko 4 and Fed 4) with 4 titles already. LSt tear he had to retire to DelPo in semis so must be great to return to finals healthy.

Also both are the 2 best at this years North america hard court Swing: Nadal win Montreal and enter the final on a 10 match winning streak undefeated so far; Medeved final in Canada and title in Cincy, on a 11 match winning streak. One of them will end.

Nadal also is 27-1 since start of Rome with 3 titles (Rome, RG, Canada) and semis in Wimbledon. Plus this final, he is clealry the #1 in the last 4 months, which the race shows. With titoe and Slam 19 unless Djoko recovers fully for Asins swing #1 will be his even with fewer tournaments (Shangai and WTF).

I guve Medvedev a 20% chance because he has the game, big serve and is a row. But he needs the 1st set. Nadal is making a great start to secure 1sets in all macthes. Almost lost it to Schwatrs, was 4-4 15-40 and Berretini had set points. But he is not letting opponents believe and get the lead.

Madmax Says:

As usual Truth is a faker.

So you know what STFU. I was disappointed with Novak retiring in his match. He is world number 1 and took away Stan’s chance to beat him hands down. He said he was injured, so I assume that faker is referring to FedEx and really, FedEx who is injured? Are you talking about Rafa’s opponent? Because you know what, if you are fit to play, you play.

I don’t expect any other result than Rafa to lift the title and that IS the truth. He will have pressure on his shoulders, but he is so used to this and it is his chance to make it his 19th slam.

And let’s think about this. How amazing it is that he is still there, fighting. It really is amazing. Rafa, Novak and Roger, still there, with all of these other talented players and it is only yesterday, there is some kind of dent in the tennis trio fraternity.

And as for Faker trying to degrade Fed’s accomplishments, seriously, give it a rest. Faker.

Okiegal Says:

@Madmax……Thank you for the “GOOD LUCK” wishes! Rafa won’t take this next match for granted, even though he beat him handily in Rogers Cup. Things have unfolded at this year’s open with some shocking results. I would have never thought that Roger or Novak would not be the finals. I hope they both get their health issues in check. I am enjoying the tournament very much this year as Rafa is still standing!! Yep Okie is a happy camper! I hope Rafa gets his 19th slam against the Russian as he’s been playing some awesome tennis. Thanks again!

Emilia Says:

On Sunday a clash between the bull and the bear (medved = bear in Russian) is expected. I think the ‘toro’ wins so the next generation has to wait!!

Vamos, Rafa!!!!!

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