US Open 2019 Men’s Semifinals Preview: Nadal vs. Berrettini; Medvedev vs. Dimitrov

published: Sep, 06, 2019

by: Ben Stevens

So we’ve got Serena Williams versus Bianca Andreescu in the women’s final, now it’s time to find out who will join them in the men’s.

Not so much a final foursome as three would-be upstarts… and Rafael Nadal, history suggests this tournament is the Spaniard’s to lose, and yet the beauty of sport is that there’s always the opportunity for surprises. At some point, a man born after 1988 is going to have to win a major title – for Grigor Dimitrov, Daniil Medvedev and Matteo Berrettini, the hope is it’s right here, right now.

Whatever the outcome may be, we’re about to find out. Read on for a look at both semi-finals on Friday at the US Open.

Both matches on Arthur Ashe Stadium – 4:00pm start

Daniil Medvedev (RUS) [5] v Grigor Dimitrov (BUL)

Two players who, win or lose, have already had a tournament to remember, Daniil Medvedev and Grigor Dimitrov could already chalk USO 2019 up as a win on their books, and yet it’s about to get even better for the one who makes it through to their first major final. A very intriguing match in prospect, the head-to-head currently stands at one win apiece, albeit with both matches coming in 2017, and much has changed since. Given his form throughout the American hardcourt swing, Medvedev comes in a clear favourite, but there’s no denying Dimitrov has the shots to trouble the big Russian – it’s just a question of whether he can string them together consistently enough to break his opponent down. More realistically, and assuming Medvedev doesn’t literally break down (this is his 22nd match in a little over a month), he should prove far too solid for the Bulgarian to pull the upset, although it should take a minimum of four sets to get past him.

Not before 5:30pm

Rafael Nadal (ESP) [2] v Matteo Berrettini (ITA) [24]

It probably goes without saying, but things are looking pretty good right now for Rafa Nadal. He’s through to his fourth major semifinal of the year, is the highest seed remaining, and most importantly, has the shot of the tournament with this precision strike into the ESPN commentary box. Now he gets young upstart Matteo Berrettini, who has being very impressive so far this week, but it’s safe to say that after just squeaking past Gael Monfils in the quarters, Rafa will prove a whole ‘nother kettle of fish. If the Italian is to have any chance here, he’ll have to adopt the same tack as Juan Martin Del Potro did in his ’09 USO semi against Nadal, and use his 6’5 frame to tee off on just about everything thrown his way. That said, Berrettini is not the same power player Del Potro is, and the more likely outcome is that the Spaniard starts stringing him along from one sideline to the other, taking him apart in the process.

Ben Stevens

Contributor to TennisConnected. Long time player, coach and fan. Still waiting on Mark Philippoussis to break through at a major.

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