Rafael Nadal explains why he’s wary of Matteo Berrettini ahead of US Open semi-final clash

US Open
Rafael Nadal walking out at US Open

Rafael Nadal is expecting a tough match when he meets Matteo Berrettini in the semi-finals of the US Open, but he says he is going into it with confidence.

Berrettini is a surprise name in the last four of the competition, but he put on a tremendous exhibition of big-hitting as he won an epic five-set quarter-final against Gael Monfils on Wednesday.

The Italian had never made it further than the fourth round of a Grand Slam before this week, but that does’t mean Nadal will take him for granted

“I saw him (Berrettini) play,” Nadal said after beating Diego Schwartzman in his quarter-final.

“Big serve, big forehand, moving well. He’s making big steps forward every week.

“Tough match but this one gives me confidence. Now is the moment to keep going. Rest and practice a bit tomorrow and I hope to be my 100 per cent for the semi-final.”

For Berrettini, of course, Nadal is much less of an unknown quantity.

“I saw, like, a hundred of his matches,” Berrettini said as he humoured the interviewer. “Who in this tour doesn’t know Rafa?”

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