US Open 2019: Rafael Nadal beat Matteo Berrettini to set up final against Daniil Medvedev, who earlier defeated Grigor Dimitrov.
New York: Rafael Nadal, an 18-time Grand Slam singles champion, progressive to his fifth US Open final on Friday by battling past Italy’s Matteo Berrettini 7-6 (6), 6-4, 6-1.
The 33-year-old Spaniard will play for his fourth US Open crown on Sunday at Arthur Ashe Stadium against Russian fifth seed Daniil Medvedev, who reached his first Grand Slam final by crushing Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-3.
“It means a lot to be back where I am today after some tough moments at the beginning of the season,” said Nadal, who battled a right hip damage early in the year.
A victory Sunday would put the world number two Nadal only one win shy of Roger Federer’s record men’s total of 20 Grand Slam titles.
Nadal will play in his 27th career Grand Slam final, his fifth in New York, as he pursuits a fourth US Open title, one shy of the record of five shared by Federer, Pete Sampras and Jimmy Connors.
Nadal beat Medvedev in last month’s Montreal final in their only prior meeting. But the world number two bounced Cincinnati, where Medvedev was champion the following week.
“He’s one of the more solid players on tour. He’s making steps forward every single week. He’s the player that is playing better on tour this summer,” Nadal said.
“I need to be playing at my best.
MEDVEDEV IN 4TH FINAL IN 6 WEEKS
Medvedev, in his first Grand Slam final at 23, has gone 20-2 in the past six weeks with runner-up efforts in Washington and Canada, a title in Cincinnati and an advance US Open run.
“Finally I’m here after three sets,” Medvedev said. “I’m just happy to be in the final.””When I was going to USA, I didn’t know it was going to be this good,” Medvedev said. “So I have to say I love USA.”
Medvedev is the first Russian in a Grand Slam final since Marat Safin won the 2005 Australian Open title and the first Russian to reach the US Open final since Safin won the 2000 crown.At 23, Medvedev is just the third men’s Grand Slam finalist born in the 1990s after Canada’s Milos Raonic and Austria’s Dominic Thiem. He could become the first ’90s-born Slam winner.
Medvedev is only the third Open Era player to reach finals in Washington, Canada, Cincinnati and the US Open in the same year after Ivan Lendl in 1982 and Andre Agassi in 1995.
Dimitrov, who lost seven of his eight matches just prior to arriving at Flushing Meadows, would have been the lowest-ranked US Open men’s finalist since the rankings began in 1973.
“Good match overall. I think it was just a few points here and there,” Dimitrov said. “Yeah, three sets to love, but the score for me doesn’t justify the match itself. I think it was a good level. Overall he played really well, fought hard, a lot of the key points he played well. So I don’t want to be too down on myself.”