Matteo Berrettini is fighting back against Rafael Nadal, and one celebration from the Italian caught the eye of a tennis legend. FOLLOW LIVE
Matteo Berrettini is back in the match after a dominant start from Rafael Nadal, and one feature of the Italian’s celebration caught the attention of tennis legend Jim Courier.
As Berrettini came close to taking the third set, he was sighted celebrating in Nadal’s native tongue, with Courier spotting ‘vamos’ coming from his mouth after a point.
“He lets out a ‘vamos’. It is nothing against Nadal, he is Italian,” Courier said on commentary.
“He celebrates in Spanish, I am not so why. In any case he had to lot to celebrate and to send this in into a fourth set.”
Todd Woodbridge then questioned Lleyton Hewitt on uttering the same celebration during his career.
“Very usually. Most of the time it was, ‘Come on!’ through the my 20-year career,” Hewitt chuckled.
NADAL 3-5 BERRETTINI
Berrettini won his first game to love for the match, then managed to break the superstar Spaniard for the first time in his career.
The Italian produced a stunning passing forehand when he looked out of the point as he brought up three break points, two of which were saved by Nadal.
Berrettini even spoke in Nadal’s native tongue, letting out a “vamos” after securing the break.
NADAL 6-2 BERRETTINI
Another clinical performance from Rafa and Berrettini just can’t catch a break – literally and figuratively. Nothing is going right for the Italian and the fairy-tale for Nadal is getting closer and closer. We dare to dream.
NADAL 6-3 BERRETTINI
Rafael Nadal has put on a clinic against an outclassed Matteo Berrettini to start their semi-final on Rod Laver Arena, taking the first set 6-3 in blistering fashion.
With the roof closed due to torrential rain hitting Melbourne, conditions were expected to favour the Italian, but it was Nadal who came out breathing fire.
The 20-time major winner peppered Berrettini’s backhand on his way to an early break and – after navigating a five-and-a-half minute opening game hold – was rarely troubled on his own serve.
Berrettini made 16 backhand errors – more than Nadal had errors in total – in a brutal examination.
More worryingly for the Italian, Nadal’s record after winning the first set at a grand slam is imperious: he’s 264-7 in such scenarios.
And watch out if he wins the second here… he’s only lost on two occasions from the 234 times when he’s taken a two-sets-to-love lead in a grand slam match.
4:00pm MASSIVE TICKET BOOST FOR AO FINAL
Crowds will be increased at the Australian Open for this weekend’s finals.
The State Government has confirmed capacity will be increased at Melbourne Park from 65 per cent to 80 percent.
It means about 3000 fans will be able to witness Ash Barty in the final and four Aussies contest the men’s doubles final.
Sports Minister Martin Pakula confirmed a bigger crowd would be allowed.
“Following consideration of a request from Tennis Australia for a higher cap, the ticketed capacity of the AO has been increased to 80 per cent for the finals on Saturday and Sunday.’’
Meanwhile, Rafa Nadal is putting on a clinic in his semi-final.
The Spaniard is rolling back the years as he looks to secure his sixth Australian Open final, making Matteo Berrettini look amateurish in the process.
ROD LAVER ARENA
Day session – From 12:00pm AEDT
Mixed Doubles • Final
J. Fourlis WC
J. Kubler WC
K. Mladenovic 5
I. Dodig 5
Day session – Not before 2:30pm AEDT
Men’s Singles • semi-finals
M. Berrettini 7
R. Nadal 6
Night session – From 7:30pm AEDT
Men’s Singles • semi-finals
S. Tsitsipas 4
D. Medvedev 2
1:30PM AUSSIE FINALS HEARTBREAK
Australia has suffered a second finals defeat at the Australian Open in as many days, with Jamiee Fourlis and Jason Jason Kubler losing in straight sets while chasing the mixed doubles crown.
The Aussie underdogs went down 6-3 6-4 to the fifth seeds, France’s Kristina Mladenovic and Croatian Ivan Dodig, joining quad wheelchair king Dylan Alcott in finishing a runner-up at this year’s tournament.
The unseeded Australians snatched an early break on Rod Laver Arena, but were broken back twice to concede the first set in 35 minutes.
Their more fancied rivals carried that moment into the second set, with Mladenovic sealing the win with a fine volley after a tense match point to claim her 25th doubles title – and second Australian Open gong.
Dodig, a three-time slam mixed doubles champion, claimed his first title at Melbourne Park.
Australia has more finalists to come, with Ash Barty contesting her first Australian Open final in the women’s singles, and the Matt Ebden-Max Purcell partnership taking on Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios in the men’s doubles on Saturday.
GOOD MORNING: Men’s semi finals day and also some Aussies in the mixed doubles final
Iga Swiatek said she came up against the fastest balls she has ever faced after being blown off court by the raw power of Danielle Collins to miss out on an Australian Open final Thursday.
The Polish seventh seed was overwhelmed by the American 6-4, 6-1 in the last four and said it was tough to know how to deal with her relentless shot-making.
“I was prepared for her playing an aggressive game, but I think that was the fastest ball I have ever played against in a match,” she said.
“For sure in practices I have hit maybe the same speed, but in matches it’s different because players they don’t want to, you know, take that much risk.
“But it seemed for her that it wasn’t even risky because she was playing it with control. So I am impressed and huge respect to her because she’s playing a great game.” Despite the disappointing defeat, Swiatek showed character on her way to the last four and said she had no regrets from her time at Melbourne Park, where she made her first semi-final outside of the French Open that she won in 2020.
During her run to the Roland Garros title aged just 17 she did not drop a set, but twice came from a set down in Melbourne — against Estonian veteran Kaia Kanepi and Romania’s Sorana Cirstea.
It is the first time in her short career the Pole has won back-to-back matches after losing the first set, proving her fight is just as formidable as her forehand.
She also demonstrated her consistency by making the second week for a sixth consecutive Grand Slam and said the key lesson she took away was that “I don’t have to play perfect tennis to win matches, even on hard courts”.
“That’s my best result on hard court besides winning Adelaide. I mean, I don’t know if winning Adelaide is better than the semi-final of an Australian Open,” she said, referring to the Adelaide title she won last year.
“So that’s positive, because I always wanted to improve on hard courts. “I like the fact that I won against Sorana and Kaia like mentally and physically, and I gave my heart on court, so that’s great.
“I’m pretty happy that I’m able to also play aggressive and be ready on fast surfaces. Maybe I wasn’t today, but usually.” Despite the defeat, Swiatek is projected to move to number four in the world rankings when they are released next week