Sixth seed Rafael Nadal will meet seventh seed Matteo Berrettini in the semifinals of the 2022 Australian Open on Thursday, January 27. Get the live streaming options of this Rafael Nadal v Matteo Berrettini match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Rafael Nadal v Matteo Berrettini Head to Head
Nadal won their only previous meeting at the U.S. Open in 2019.
Nadal Edges Out Shapovalov in a Five-Set Thriller
Rafael Nadal stayed on course for a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title as he held off a gallant comeback effort from Canada’s Denis Shapovalov to win an edge-of-the-seat five-set quarterfinal on Tuesday and march into a seventh semifinal in Melbourne.
The Spaniard had thrown away a two-sets-to-love lead last year at this stage against Stefanos Tsitsipas, and was in danger of suffering the same fate this year, but the sixth seed made a solid recovery in the final set.
Having saved a break point in the first game, he broke Shapovalov in the second and then saved two more break points in the third game of the fifth set to take a 3-0 lead. It was all Nadal from there on, as the World No. 5 raced to a 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3 victory in four hours and seven minutes.
Nadal didn’t face a break point in the first two sets while he broke the 14th seed once in each set to take a formidable 2-0 lead. The Canadian found his footing in the third. He missed out on two break point opportunities in the sixth game of the set but cashed in on the second break point of the 10th game to take the match into in the fourth.
Filled with a new found energy, the 22-year-old raced to a 5-3 lead in the fourth set with the lone break of serve in the fourth game, but soon found himself in trouble at 15-40 down. But Shapovalov found a way to save both the break points and force the decider.
Nadal needed treatment for a stomach problem ahead of the fifth but recovered well to outclass the Canadian in an emotionally draining contest, which ended with the frustrated Canadian smashing his racquet on the court. Earlier in the match, an enraged Shapovalov had expressed his displeasure with the amount of time he thought Nadal was taking between points and twice he complained to umpire Carlos Bernardes.
Following the match, Shapovalov reportedly said that Nadal receives “preferential treatment,” a claim that the Spaniard denied.
And while the debate continues, the fact remains that Nadal is into a seventh semifinal in Melbourne. The former No. 1 is 8-0 in 2022, having come into the tournament as the champion of the Melbourne Summer Set tournament.
The 2009 Australian Open champion began his 2022 challenge with a straight sets win over America’s Marcos Giron. He continued his solid run in the second round, dumping out Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann 6-2, 6-3, 6-4. Having won the first two rounds without dropping a service game, Nadal faced some resistance in the third round against Olympics silver medallist Karen Khachanov. The Russian won a set, but Nadal won the contest 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.
He followed the win with another straight sets victory over France’s Adrian Mannarino in the fourth round. The match witnessed an epic first-set tiebreak before Nadal clinched the contest 7-6 (16-14), 6-2, 6-2.
Berrettini Battles Past Monfils
Matteo Berrettini looked to be cruising after the first two sets of his quarterfinal match against Gael Monfils on Tuesday, but a determined fightback from the Frenchman challenged the Italian all the way to the fifth set. Monfils forced the decider, but Berrettini rebounded in the fifth set to race to a 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 3-6, 6-2 victory in almost four hours.
This was the second five-setter for the Italian in the tournament, as he was also taken to the deciding set by Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz in the third round last Friday. The Spaniard wiped off a two-set deficit to force the fifth set but eventually lost the battle 2-6, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4, 6-2, 6-7 (5-10).
Berretini, who became the first Italian man to reach the semifinals of the Australian Open, has had just one straight sets win en route the last four. That 7-5, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 win came in the fourth round against Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta.
The 2021 Wimbledon finalist had begun his 2022 Australian Open campaign with a 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 win over the United States’ Brandon Nakashima in the first round and followed that with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 win over another American Stefan Kozlov in the Round of 64.
In a pulsating quarterfinal contest, the 25-year-old Italian broke the Frenchman once each in the first two sets. He had three opportunities to break Monfils in the third game of the third set but he couldn’t take any of them and in turn Monfils broke in the sixth game to start the comeback.
Having taken the third the Frenchman broke twice in the fourth to keep his hopes of a maiden semifinal in Melbourne alive. But that was not to be as the Italian came roaring back in the final set. He built a sizeable 4-0 lead before racing to the finish line.
Nadal v Berrettini Prediction and Tip
Berrettini has not lost a Grand Slam match to anyone other than Novak Djokovic since last year. He is on a 21-0 streak against the other opponents in the majors. Djokovic beat the Italian in the quarterfinals of the French Open and the U.S. Open and in the final of the Wimbledon last year. Berrettini also made it to the fourth round of the Australian Open last year, but had to retire without even taking the court, having suffered an injury during his third round win.
That streak could come to an end in the next match as he faces the 20-time major winner for a spot in the final. Nadal will be the favourite to win that match and reach the final for a sixth time.