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Sports

A win away from history: Nadal beats Berrettini to reach Australian Open final

  • 35-year-old Nadal is bidding to have sole ownership of the record for most Grand Slam singles titles
Updated 28 Jan, 2022

MELBOURNE: Rafa Nadal stood one win away from a men's record 21st Grand Slam title after overpowering Italian seventh seed Matteo Berrettini 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-3 on Friday to reach the Australian Open final.

A win for Nadal in Sunday's final against either Daniil Medvedev or Stefanos Tsitsipas will break a three-way tie with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer and give him sole ownership of the record for most Grand Slam singles titles.

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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.

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Berrettini finally came alive in the third and started forcing Nadal back with his forehands, a break of serve forcing a fourth set.

The Spaniard got the crucial break in the eighth game as the Italian's unforced errors increased and another mistake allowed Nadal to convert his first matchpoint after a battle that lasted two hours and 55 minutes.

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