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Australian Open 2022: Rafael Nadal breezes past Matteo Berrettini; aims to win record 21st Grand Slam in final

On Friday, Rafael Nadal defeated Matteo Berrettini in the 2022 Australian Open semis. He has qualified for his seven final at the event. He is chasing his record 21st Grand Slam title.

Australian Open 2022: Rafael Nadal breezes past Matteo Berrettini; aims to win record 21st Grand Slam in final-ayh
Melbourne VIC, First Published Jan 28, 2022, 12:12 PM IST

It was a dominant performance from Rafael Nadal of Spain. On Saturday, he outlasted Matteo Berrettini of Italy 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in the semis of the Australian Open (AO) 2022 in Melbourne. As a result, the sixth has qualified for his sixth final at the event. He had won the event back in 2009 for the only time in his illustrious career.

The match began competitively before Nadal earned a hard-fought opening break to take the first set. The second set turned out to be even better for a Spaniard, as he relied on his fierce backhand strokes, along with his deadly forehand, to outplay Berrettini. The Italian was broken twice as he trailed by a couple of sets.

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However, Berrettini decided to give it all in the third set and managed to earn a hard-fought break late in the set to pull one back. Nonetheless, Nadal decided to not hang in there and finish things fast. Despite exchanging shots and games each early, similar to the third, the Spaniard earned the decisive break like the Italian.

With a match point, he converted it successfully to sail into his seventh AO final. He now awaits the winner of the other semis, set to be played later on the day between Stefanos Tsitsipas of Grece and Daniil Medvedev of Russia.

ALSO READ: Australian Open 2022 - Stefanos Tsitsipas has it easy vs Jannik Sinner to seal semis berth, netizens delighted

“I started the match playing great. The first two sets were one of the best so far for a long time. Then, I know how good Matteo is. He is an excellent player, hazardous. In the third, I know, at some point, he is going to go for the shots. And then, I think I didn’t play a good game with myself in the fourth and third. He played some great shots, passing shot down the line, unbelievable. Then, yeah, I had to suffer and wanted to fight in the fourth again,” Nadal said after the win.

“For me, it’s all about the Australian Open more than anything else. It is just an amazing event that I have been a little bit lucky in my career with some injuries, as I said a couple of days ago now. I played good finals against Novak in 2012 and Roger in 2017. I was lucky to win once in 2009, but I never thought about another chance in 2022. Just enjoy the victory today and after that, try my best,” he concluded.

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