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Rafa Nadal in the semis of the US Open, two games away from his fourth title

Rafa Nadal in the semis of the US Open, two games away from his fourth title

Rafael Nadal returns to the US Open semifinal one year after having to withdraw due to injury in this instance. Looking ahead to his game on Friday, he claims to be in “good shape.”

He has shown it throughout this tournament that he lost on the way to defending champion Novak Djokovic due to a pain in his left shoulder, and to Roger Federer, defeated in the quarterfinals.

And with the “Big 3” reduced to one, Nadal is covered by a blanket of favoritism that he himself dismisses.

“I understand that by history you may think that I am the most candidate, but the reality is that there is only one real version and that is that the one who plays the best of the four will finish with the trophy on Sunday,” said the second seed after eliminating Diego Schwartzman , who called it “a lion in the middle of the forest.”

And that beast faces Italian Matteo Berrettini (24), who beat Frenchman Gael Monfils in five sets, while Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, Federer’s executioner, faces Russian Daniil Medvedev (5).

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– Double coffee –

The semifinal matches will be played from 4:00 p.m. local time (8:00 p.m. GMT), after the victory of Colombians Juan Sebastián Cabal and Robert Farah in the doubles final, who achieved their second Grand Slam in a row after winning Wimbledon.

Accompanied by hundreds of fans with flags, soccer team jerseys and vueltiaos hats (typical of Colombia), they defeated the pair made up of the Spanish Marcel Granollers and the Argentine Horacio Zeballos 6-4, 7-5.

“It was unreal, I wonder if it’s a dream, two Slams in a row,” Farah said. “Colombia, thank you so much for making this awesome.”

– “Close to perfection” –

Nadal, 33, winner of 18 Grand Slams, faces for the first time Berrettini, 10 years his junior and an admirer of the rival since he was a child.

“He is the greatest fighter there has been in this sport,” said the twenty-fourth classified. “It is incredible what he is doing, I admire him, the way he behaves on the track, his attitude is something … I think close to perfection.”

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«I have seen like 100 of his games, who in the circuit does not know Rafa? It will be difficult to face without a doubt.

Nadal has been present among the four best of each tournament he has faced in 2019, except in Acapulco, where he lost in the second round. In the remaining 10, he reached at least this stage, winning the Roma, Roland Garros and Montreal titles, as well as one more final at the Australian Open.

He has a total of 33 Grand Slam semi-final appearances, behind Federer (45) and Djokovic (36) and ahead of Jimmy Connors (31) and Ivan Lendl (28).

The serve stood out from his rival. “He’s serving incredible,” as well as a “great forehand, moves well and has great confidence because he’s had a great year, so I’m going to have to play my best tennis.”

– “An idiot” –

In qualifying for the semifinal, Medvedev showed pain in his left quadriceps, but said the two days of rest will allow him to be in tune for the clash with Dimitrov.

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The Russian had a busy schedule last month, winning the Cincinnati title and reaching the finals in Washington and Montreal, where he lost to Nadal in the final.

“That’s what I’ve been working for all my life,” Medvedev said. “I am very surprised with the way the last four weeks have passed.”

Medvedev, who had previously reached only the round of 16 of a Slam in Australia, took on the US Open crowd after unsportsmanlike conduct in the second round, which included an obscene gesture on the court.

He later said that his behavior had been that of “an idiot” for making fun of the fans, saying that he was inspired by their boos to win, and promised to show his “bright side” in future matches.

Medvedev and Dimitrov, recovered from a shoulder injury that struck him earlier in the season, have met twice, each with a victory. afp

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