Rafael Nadal will play for his 19th Grand Slam title, one shy of Roger Federer’s all-time men’s record, after edging Italy’s Matteo Berrettini on Friday and into his fifth US Open final.
The 33-year-old Spaniard dispatched Berrettini 7-6 (8/6), 6-4, 6-1 at Arthur Ashe Stadium to reach a Sunday showdown against Russian fifth seed Daniil Medvedev, who ousted Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 6-3.
“Very happy to be back into the final of the US Open,” Nadal said. “It means a lot to be back where I am today after some tough moments at the beginning of the season.”
Nadal, who shook off an early-season right hip injury to win a 12th French Open title, seeks his fourth US Open crown – one short of the Open-era record of five shared by Federer, Pete Sampras and Jimmy Connors – to reach the brink of Federer’s mark.
“It’s just another chance on Sunday,” Nadal said. “I want to enjoy a day off, have a good practice and Sunday is the day to play my best.”
Medvedev, in his first Grand Slam final at 23, has gone 20-2 in the past six weeks with runner-up efforts in Washington and Canada, a title in Cincinnati and a breakthrough US Open run.
“I’m just happy to be in the final,” Medvedev said. “When I was going to USA, I didn’t know it was going to be this good. So I have to say I love USA.”
Medvedev is the first Russian in a men’s Grand Slam final since Marat Safin won the 2005 Australian Open title and the first Russian to reach the US Open final since Safin won the 2000 crown.