The Australian Open semifinal round features two stellar matchups in the men’s game. No. 2 seed and tournament favorite Daniil Medvedev, according to BetUS sportsbook, takes on No. 4 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the bottom half of the draw, while No. 6 seed Rafael Nadal will face No. 7 seed Matteo Berrettini in the top half of the draw.
Nadal is gunning for a record-setting 21st Grand Slam title, Who will advance into the Australian Open final? Find out as we preview both of these matchups and serve up Tennis predictions.
Australian Open Semifinal Matchups
Rafael Nadal vs Matteo Berrettini
Nadal’s bid to win a 21st Grand Slam title is still alive in the Australian Open. Next up for the Spaniard is Berrettini, who is looking to reach only a second Grand Slam final in his career.
By the tennis odds, Nadal is the favorite to win and advance into the final. However, Berrettini has been playing solid tennis and he presents a legitimate stumbling block for Nadal in his bid to become the winningest player at the majors on the ATP Tour.
One for the ages ✨
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 25, 2022
Nadal came into the tournament in good form. He won the ATP 250 Melbourne event and arrived with a 4-0 record. He’s extended that form to 9-0 in reaching the final four at the Australian Open. Nadal was flawless in the first two rounds, winning both matches in straight sets and dropping just 16 games combined. Karen Khachanov took the first set off Nadal in the third round, but the Spaniard bounced back with a straight-set win in the Round of 16 over Adrian Mannarino.
Things got a lot trickier in the quarterfinals when Nadal was forced to overcome Canada’s Dennis Shapovalov in a five-set marathon. Nadal started strong and very nearly dispatched the Canadian in straight sets. But at the tail end of the third set, things went awry for the 20-time Grand Slam champion.
At 3-3 in the third set, Nadal, all of a sudden, appeared to be out of sorts. It was later revealed, after the trainer and doctor were called out to court, that he was suffering from a stomach bug.
Shapovalov wasted no time and capitalized on Nadal’s apparent discomfort to win the third set 6-3. With Nadal visibly struggling, Shapovalov won the fourth set quite comfortably and pushed the match into a fifth and deciding set.
At that point, Nadal looked to be in serious trouble. The momentum was with his much younger opponent. And yet, somehow, Nadal regrouped early in the decider. He took the 3-0 lead over Shapovalov and never looked back from that point, clinching the 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3 win.
Berrettini was taken the distance by Gael Monfils in their quarterfinal match. It marked the second fifth-setter for the Italian at the tournament. Berrettini won the first two sets and Monfils won the ensuing two sets. However, the Frenchman ran out of gas in the decider and Berrettini took the 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 3-6, 6-2 win.
Berrettini has put in a lot of mileage at the Australian Open. In five matches played, the Italian has had just one straight-set win – a 7-5, 7-6 (4), 6-4 win over Pablo Carreno Busta in the R16. Berrettini’s first two matches were four-setters while his third round contest against Carlos Alcaraz went the distance. Berrettini was quite fortunate to survive that match as the young Spaniard had him on the ropes before losing the fifth-set tiebreaker.
Both Nadal and Berrettini come into this semifinal brimming with confidence and surviving severe tests. The pair have met only once before, with Nadal clinching the win in straight sets. Nadal beat Berrettini 7-6 (6), 6-4, 6-1 at the U.S. Open semifinals in 2019 – on the way to winning the title.
Nadal has the experience, form and the head-to-head advantage – all of which underscore his favorable odds to win and book his place in the final. Berrettini, however, will be no cakewalk. The Italian is proving to be a consistent threat and challenger, and he may well fancy his chances this time around.
Pick: Rafael Nadal -210
Daniil Medvedev vs. Stefanos Tsitsipas
Daniil Medvedev reached his second semifinal in as many years after overcoming Canada’s Felix Auger Aliassime in a five-set marathon. Medvedev was in serious trouble, down two sets to Aliassime before storming back to win 6-7 (4), 3-6,7-6 (2), 7-5, 6-4.
Medvedev assumed the role of top favorite once Novak Djokovic was deported from Australia after failing to revert the government’s decision to cancel his visa for a second time in court. The Russian has lived up to his top billing, even though he was challenged in the quarterfinals. And he remains the top favorite to win his second major title.
Next up for Medvedev is Tsitsipas, who reached his second straight Australian Open semifinal. Last year, Medvedev beat Tsitsipas at this very stage before he lost to Djokovic in the final.
Tsitsipas will be seeking to atone for that loss this time around. Tsitsipas made short work of Jannik Sinner, beating the Italian young gun in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. The fact that Tsitsipas expended the least energy in his semifinal can be an advantage.
Este punto de Tsitsipas es todo lo que está bien. pic.twitter.com/29zA2doAgZ
— Set Tenis (@settenisok) January 26, 2022
Lifetime, Medvedev owns the 6-2 head-to-head edge over Tsitsipas. The Greek has the most recent victory over the Russian, but it came on the clay courts of Roland Garros. Then, Tsitsipas dismissed Medvedev 6-3, 7-6 (3), 7-5 in the quarterfinals. On hard courts, Medvedev has the 5-1 edge. That includes the straight set win over Tsitsipas at last year’s Australian Open.
Predictably, Medvedev is the firm favorite at -240 to win in betting online markets and advance into the final. However, Tsitsipas at +220 is a tempting pick to pull off the upset. Tsitsipas has been coasting under the radar Down Under, but in reaching the final four, he’s shown that he’s in much better form than the oddsmakers predicted.
Pick: Stefanos Tsitsipas +200