Favorite Nadal into US Open semis as Berrettini wins thriller

Ross Houston
September 5, 2019

The Spaniard needed the best part of three hours to record an eighth straight win over two-time US Open quarter-finalist Schwartzman in a match that finished early Thursday morning.

"I achieved the four semi-finals of the four grand slams this year and that's a lot". The golfer brought his two children and girlfriend Erica Herman to the match against Marin Cilic and he matched the Spaniard almost fist pump-for-fist pump during his 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory.

"And then I take some salt, that's all, and then was over", Nadal said.

Rafael Nadal will try to make sure the US Open has one member of the Big Three in the semi-finals.

"I mean, a code violation is fine".

"To play in front of Tiger is a very special thing", Nadal said.

Diego Schwartzman matched his best Grand Slam showing by reaching the quarter-finals.

Nadal's forehand seemed to desert him at times and he required treatment on his left forearm, a worry given that injuries have already accounted for, or contributed to, the demise of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.

It was put to Nadal the Italian poses a similar threat to that of Marin Cilic, who he defeated in four sets prior to overcoming Schwartzman, given both players' propensity for power hitting and big serving.

"He's like a lion in the middle of the jungle".

Federer faces Grigor Dimitrov, a player he has beaten seven times out of seven, in the last eight.

"I think it is important for Serena to come out fast because if she should come in slow, I think Elina will be there".

Monfils, who is 10 years older, fell to 2-7 in major quarterfinals and could be forgiven for wondering how many more chances he'll get.

The 23-year-old Berrettini joined Barazzutti, 1976 Roland Garros champion Adriano Panatta and Marco Cecchinato as just the fourth Italian to advance to a men's Grand Slam semi-final in singles. "The body is in good shape, I think". I would like to say congrats to Gael.

In the decider, Berrettini broke twice for a 4-2 lead but a rejuvenated Monfils, who despite being bent over in exhaustion after many points, dug deep and raced around the court to fight off three match points to force a final-set tiebreak.

The second-seeded Nadal led 4-0 in the first set and 5-1 in the second, only to see 20th seed Schwartzman level on each occasion. "I remember also the double-fault; I have to be honest".

"Right now I don't remember any points".

Afterward, Nadal said he had dealt with cramps late in the second set and early in the third.

"It was tough, I was just competing as much as I could but there was a big lack of serve today".

"And then I take some salt, that's all, and then it was over".

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