Medvedev and Nadal Favored to Advance to Australian Open Final

Medvedev and Nadal Favored to Advance to Australian Open Final

4 min read

While you were sleeping, Ashleigh Barty became the first Australian to reach the final in Melbourne since 1980, while Danielle Collins booked a spot in her first major final. Barty dismissed Madison Keys, 6-1, 6-3, while Collins upset No. 7 seed Iga Swiatek, 6-4, 6-1. They'll get a much-deserved day off before the 2022 champion is decided.

The men's semifinals are taking place on Friday (Thursday night in the U.S.). Will Rafael Nadal move one step closer to history? Will Daniil Medvedev make it two major finals in a row? Or will they be stopped short by formidable opponents?

Let's take a closer look at what might unfold with the help of Universal Tennis INSIGHTS.



(6) Rafael Nadal (16.17) vs. (7) Matteo Berrettini (15.87)

Berrettini is looking to reach his first Australian Open final and second Grand Slam final ever (after the 2021 Wimbledon Championships). He's got a tough hurdle to overcome in Nadal as the 35-year-old Spaniard is seeking his record-breaking 21st major. The two have faced off just once, in the 2019 US Open semifinals, which Nadal won in straight sets.

"That was the only time I've played Rafa and was a really tough match for me," Berrettini said. "He won the tournament afterward. was my first semifinals. I didn't really know what to expect and even though the first set I had set points, so I'm pretty sure it's gonna be a great fight. He played five sets as well today. So he needs to rest as well."

Berrettini won't be as unfamiliar with the big stage as he was in 2019. The 25-year-old has established himself as a regular face in the second week of Grand Slams.



INSIGHTS has Nadal at 66% odds of advancing to the final with the advantage in every head-to-head category including three-month UTR Rating, wins over common opponents, and win-loss record over the last 15 months. His one win over the Italian won't factor in given how much time has passed and how much Berrettini has improved since then.

While both needed five sets to win their respective semifinals (Nadal over Denis Shapovalov and Berrettini over Gael Monfils), Nadal struggled the most with a stomach ailment. He'll have had two days to recover, which helps a lot this deep into a fortnight. His attitude is one of gratitude, saying, "For me, it's just a present of life that I am here playing tennis again."

(2) Daniil Medvedev (16.21) vs. (4) Stefanos Tsitsipas (15.90)

The second men's semifinal will see two players who are very familiar with each other (not always in a good way). They've played eight times over their careers with Medvedev leading 6-2. Notably, they've split their most recent meetings, both at the Grand Slam level: Tsitsipas won their 2021 Roland Garros quarterfinal while Medvedev won their 2021 Australian Open semifinal. Both were straight-set matches.

Stefanos Tsitsipas is hoping to reach his second major final after the 2021 French Open. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

INSIGHTS is siding with Medvedev at 68% with the 25-year-old Russian having the better hard-court UTR Rating, three-month UTR Rating, and better recent win-loss record. Over the past 15 months, Medvedev is an impressive 80-15 while Tsitsipas is 66-23.

Medvedev will have a challenge in recovery after fighting back from two sets down to top Felix Auger-Aliassime, 6-7(4) 3-6 7-6(2) 7-5 6-4 in over four hours.



He saved a match point in the fourth set, and was inspired by some greats, including one he may face in the final.

"I told myself, 'What Novak would do?' Because he's one of the greatest champions," Medvedev said on court, after finishing past midnight. "Or Roger or Rafa —they have won so many matches like this. I just thought, 'OK, I'm gonna make him work. If he wants to win it, he needs to fight to the last point.' It worked, I managed to raise my level, especially in the tiebreak."

Tstisipas had a much easier time of it in the quarterfinals by easing past No. 11 seed Jannik Sinner in straight sets. As you might expect from the Greek, his perspective is philosophical.

"It is important in that process to remain on the ground and to remind yourself that you are a human being who is aiming for something great, and you're headed towards that direction and you're doing everything possible in order to achieve that greatness," he said. "Perfection doesn't exist, but close to perfection."

UTR Pro Tennis Tour Champ Makes Final

In his Grand Slam debut, 17-year-old Alex Michelsen has made his way to the doubles final with partner Adolfo Daniel Vallejo. He started his 2022 season by winning the Newport Beach Men’s $25K Hard 15 with five straight wins, giving him confidence into his Australia swing. He and Vallejo will face No. 2 seeds Bruno Kuzuhara and Chak Lam Coleman Wong for the title.

Stay tuned for more from INSIGHTS, and to learn more about Universal Tennis, click here.

•UTR Ratings and INSIGHTS probabilities as of 9 a.m. EST, Jan. 27, 2022.

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