What it means to be back in an #AusOpen final 💙@RafaelNadal • #AO2022 pic.twitter.com/OF29zQkF9i
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 28, 2022
The 35-year-old had an emotional breakdown after winning a gruelling contest against the Italian. Rafael Nadal is just one win away from winning a record 21st Grand Slam title.
One more and he’ll break the record of 20 majors he shared with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. He’ll also become just the fourth man in history to win all four of the Grand Slam titles at least twice.
In the championship match on Sunday, he will play the winner of the later semifinal between US Open champion Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas.
With rain bucketing down outside, the 35-year-old Nadal made a fast start under the closed roof of the Rod Laver Arena and took control by breaking Wimbledon finalist Berrettini’s serve early in each of the first two sets.
Nadal’s vicious top-spin forehand did most of the damage early on, pinning Berrettini down behind the baseline and leaving him very little time to produce his big groundstrokes.
“I started the match playing great. First two sets have been one of the best so far since a long time,” Nadal said on court.
“I know how good is Matteo. He’s a very solid player, very dangerous. In the third I knew at some point he’s gonna go for the shots.
“We need to suffer and we need to fight. That is the only way to be where I am today. Honestly, it means a lot to me to be in the final here again.”
It will be the 29th major final for Nadal on Sunday and a second title at Melbourne Park would make him only the second man after Djokovic to win every Grand Slam title twice since the sport became professional in 1968.
“I have been a little bit unlucky during my career with some injuries and other times I played amazing finals with good chances,” said Nadal, who will play in his sixth Australian Open final. “I was close a couple of times.
“I feel very lucky that I won once in my career in 2009 but I never thought about another chance in 2022.