Australian Open: Rafael Nadal overcomes Matteo Berrettini test to reach final

Australian Open: Rafael Nadal overcomes Matteo Berrettini test to reach final

Australian Open: Rafael Nadal overcomes Matteo Berrettini test to reach final

Written by Staff Writer

28 Jan, 2022 | 2:01 pm

Rafael Nadal overcame a stern test from Matteo Berrettini to reach his sixth Australian Open final in Melbourne.

The 35-year-old remains on track to win a record 21st Grand Slam title in Melbourne and his first Australian Open title since 2009.

Berrettini made the world No 5 work for his victory by taking the third set and holding much of the momentum in the fourth. However, a key Nadal break at 4-3 helped the Spaniard claim a 3-6 2-6 6-3 3-6 victory.

Seventh seed Berrettini began nervously in his third Grand Slam semi-final and found his weaker backhand ruthlessly exploited by Nadal, who seemed to be cruising into the final.

Berrettini, the beaten finalist at Wimbledon last year, did not manage to apply any pressure or force his opponent to leave his comfort zone for two sets but in the third things slowly began to turn.

The Italian had played Nadal once before, at the US Open in 2019, and had not created a break point. Finally, he managed it in the eighth game of their sixth set.

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