Rafael Nadal Reaches Australian Open Final, Verge Of Grand Slam History | ATP Tour

Rafael Nadal is one match away from becoming the greatest Grand Slam champion in history after defeating Matteo Berrettini 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 Friday to reach the Australian Open final.

Nadal raced into a two-set lead early on Rod Laver Arena, leaving Berrettini with too big a mountain to climb as the Spaniard moved within one win of a second title in Melbourne and a 21st Grand Slam title overall. Frequently taking up a position inside the baseline during longer rallies, he pinned his opponent deep in the court through a barrage of top-spin forehands to the Berrettini backhand.

The tactic earned Nadal early breaks in sets one and two, the World No. 7 getting few opportunities to gain any sort of foothold in his third Grand Slam semi-final.

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Berrettini was finally able to settle into some sort of rhythm, at one point winning 23 consecutive points on serve as he struck back to force a fourth set. Nadal stayed solid to seal victory, however, avoiding a similar ordeal to his five-set marathon with Denis Shapovalov in the quarter-finals. 2009 Melbourne champion Nadal sealed the 500th hard-court match win of his career having offered up just two break points in the match and making just 19 unforced errors across the four sets.

Standing between Nadal and his historic achievement will be the winner of the other semi-final between second seed Daniil Medvedev or fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.

More to follow…

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