Australian Open 2022: Rafael Nadal earns shot at record 21st Grand Slam title

By | January 28, 2022

Rafael Nadal will have an opportunity to go ahead of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in Grand Slam tournaments won after progressing to the Australian Open final with a four-set win over Italy’s Matteo Berrettini.

Sixth-seeded Nadal defeated Berrettini 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in 2 hours and 55 minutes Friday, securing an opportunity to win his second Australian Open title in his sixth final appearance.

Nadal, Djokovic and Federer have the most Grand Slam tournament wins with 20 each. The Spanish star can move ahead to 21 with a victory over Daniil Medvedev or Stefanos Tsitsipas in Sunday’s final.

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Seventh-seeded Berrettini struggled to get going at Rod Laver Arena. His serve was broken at first attempt in the first set before Nadal served out the set.

The 25-year-old Italian battled to recover. He dropped his first two service games in the second set, with his 35-year-old opponent racing to a 4-0 lead.

Nadal comfortably served out the second set to establish a stranglehold on the match. Berrettini appeared not to have any answers.

Berrettini managed to hold serve in his first service game of the third set and, after toughing out a couple more games off his own racquet, broke Nadal in the eighth game before serving it out.

It looked as if Berrettini was building momentum throughout the fourth set, but Nadal held firm to snare a break in the eighth game and then serve out the match in the next game.