Rafael Nadal will battle for a 19th Grand Slam title against Daniil Medvedev on Sunday after easing past Italy’s Matteo Berrettini in the semi-finals of the US Open.
The world No. 2 beat Berrettini 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 6-1 on Friday night to join Russia’s Medvedev in the final and can land a second major title of the year with victory.
A win would see him split the four majors with world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and open a lead of more than 2,000 points in the race to end the season as tennis’ top-ranked male.
He will also close the gap on Roger Federer’s all-time Grand Slam record of 20 titles to just one tournament win should he get over the line.
Given his dominance at the French Open, he would hope to match the Swiss next year.
Writing off his final opponent would be a dangerous move, however. Medvedev boasts more match wins than any other man in 2019.
His win over Dimitrov was his 50th of the season. His form in the American hard-court summer has been nothing short of tremendous.
He has reached finals in all four of the events he’s played, winning a first Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati. One of those two final defeats was against Nadal at the Rogers Cup.
The 6-3 6-0 scoreline was hardly flattering to the young Russian but he has since grown in confidence and he is more than capable of an upset.
But Nadal – who has won the title in each of the four previous occasions where he was the only ‘Big Three’ member left standing in the semi-finals- remains the strong favourite to land title No. 19 when he competes in the 27th major final of his illustrious career.