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Rafael Nadal vs Matteo Berrettini US Open 2019 Semifinal | PREVIEW

October 16, 2019


Though we may have expected #2 seed and three
time champ Rafael Nadal to be in this stage of the tournament, a lot of us didn’t have
23 year old Matteo Berrettini on our radar. I’ll explain how he can pull off the upset
and reach the finals, AND what Rafa needs to do to reach his 3rd Grand Slam final of
2019, here on GS Tennis News Today. For Rafa to reach his 10th semifinal of the
year, he first beat John Millman 63 62 62. In the second round he received a walkover
as Thanasai Kokkinakis pulled out due to injury. Rafa continued his run against Hyeon Chung
sending the South Korean packing with a 64 63 62. In the round of 16, Rafa faced his biggest
test thus far in Marin Cilic. After recovering from a second set loss, he
demolished the Croatian 63 36 61 62. Lastly, Nadal defeated Diego Schwartzman in
a tough 3 setter which produce a final score of 64 75 62. Berrettini on the other hand had a much more
difficult road to the last 4, first beating Frenchman Richard Gasquet 64 63 26 62. In the next round he beat Aussie Jordan Thompson
75 76 46 61. He then faced another Australian player, 20
year old Alexei Popyrin winning 64 64 67 76. In his most impressive performance of the
fortnight, the Italian dispatched of a very dangerous member of the Russian mafia Andrey
Rublev 61 61 76. The exact opposite of this comfortable 3 set
win was his semifinal match against Gael Monfils where it took him 5 match points to topple
Le Monf in a 4 hour battle. Looking at the head 2 head for these two,
Rafael Nadal is by far the more experienced player with almost 15 plus more years on tour
than his opponent. Rafa has had a pretty strong year, because
41-6 makes 29-16 look subpar when Matteo’s 2019 has in fact been very strong. The stat on this sheet that I’m the most
focused on is time spent on court. Nadal has been very workman like and has played
a total of 9 hours and 43 minutes. Berrettini, however, has been playing much
more than the Spaniard playing a whooping 15 hours and 23 minutes of tennis. I believe this will be a huge factor in the
outcome of this match. For Rafael to make his 5th final in Flushing,
he needs to utilize that forehand to backhand combo to a T. To no surprise, His forehand
has been extremely effective and very dangerous all tourney but by hitting a lot of them cross
court to the weak Berrettini backhand he gives himself even more of an advantage. Matteo has a very good forehand but on his
backhand he mostly chips the ball back or hits an ineffective groundie back cross court. This won’t harm Rafa at all and because
of this the Spaniard should come in off that backhand as Monfils did. This tournament, Rafa’s has a solid 80%
success rate when coming in, and I know that number will increase after this match.In addition
to going crosscourt, Rafa should also direct a lot of his balls deep down the middle of
the court if possible, because the Italian does have a tendency to get jammed and make
poor shots. Lastly, Nadal must move closer to the baseline
especially on return. Against Cilic Rafa stood very deep behind
the baseline in the first 2 sets, losing the 2nd set in the process. However when he made a change and moved further
in to return, the difference was remarkable and he dominated Marin the final two sets. Though Berretini serves hard Nadal doesn’t
need to make that same early mistake, but instead move further in from the get go. For Berrettini to win the biggest match of
his career he must be aggressive. The matches that Rafa lose are those in which
his opponent push him back and run him ragged all across the court. Using that big forehand of his he must replicate
this and make sure that he is the one dictating the points. A point that coincides with this is to serve
big. Matteo definitely has the serve to make Rafa
struggle to break, so he must go after that serve and don’t hold back. With this will come more faults which brings
me to my last point: change his second serve patterns. After rewatching his matches this fortnight,
I’ve seen that Matteo is very predictable on his second serve and really only seems
able to hit the kick to the righty’s backhand. With Rafa this is totally different and if
he continues this predictable pattern he’ll get burned almost everytime. For my final match prediction I believe Rafael
Nadal will defeat Matteo Berrettini in three sets to reach the 2019 US Open Final. Matteo has had an excellent run beating high
level players, but Nadal is a whole nother animal and I believe the moment will be too
big for him to handle. Not only this but it’s going to be a much
different look for the Italian as this is his first time facing a lefty the entire tournament,
and it’s the greatest lefty of all time. Lastly, and most importantly Matteo’s mileage
this week has been very plentiful and it didn’t help him to have his most physical match be
his most recent one. Nadal on the other hand will be fresh well
rested and primed to win. Rafa and Matteo talked to the media about
this match up, and he’s what both guys had to say about one another. Do you agree that Rafa will dominate or do you feel the Italian can pose a great threat
for Nadals 19th slam campaign? Leave your thoughts in the comment section
below and subscribe and click the notification bell. Thanks for watching and we’ll see you next
time here on GS Tennis News Today.

1 Comment

  • Reply GS Tennis News Today September 6, 2019 at 6:31 pm

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    Do you pick Nadal or Berrettini to reach the US Open Finals? Leave your pick in the comment section below ⬇️

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