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Rafael Nadal, Daniil Medvedev advance to Australian Open tennis final

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Rafael Nadal, Daniil Medvedev advance to Australian Open tennis final
Rafael Nadal of Spain (pictured) will play for a record 21st Grand Slam singles title after a win over Italy's Matteo Berrettini in the semifinals of the 2022 Australian Open on Friday in Melbourne. Photo by Dave Hunt/EPA-EFE

Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Rafael Nadal edged Matteo Berrettini and Daniil Medvedev beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in respective men's semifinals Friday at the 2022 Australian Open, setting up a finale between the 20-time Grand Slam winner and No. 2 seed.

"For me, it's something completely unexpected," Nadal told reporters. "I am super happy. Everybody knows me. I always want to try my best.

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"Of course, my goal now is to win. It's a present to just be here and play tennis."

Nadal dispatched of Berrettini 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in the first match Friday at Rod Laver Arena. The sixth-seeded Spaniard totaled five aces, won 4 of 8 break points and fired 28 winners. He logged 19 unforced errors.

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Berrettini, the No. 7 seed from Italy, totaled 14 aces and won 1 of 2 break points. He also totaled 38 winners and 39 unforced errors in the two-hour, 55-minute match.

Medvedev and Tsitsipas took the court of the second men's semifinal. Medvedev, the No. 2 seed from Russia, registered 13 aces and won 4 of 12 break points in the 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 win.

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He also totaled 39 winners and 28 unforced errors.

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"Starting from 5-4 in the third, I just found some momentum," Medvedev said in his on-court interview. "I tried to read his serve and put every ball in and made serves. His energy went down because of this and mine was going only up."

Medvedev's fourth-seeded Greek counterpart totaled five aces, won 2 of 4 break points and logged 35 winners. He also totaled 32 unforced errors in the two-hour, 30-minute match.

Nadal battles Medvedev in the 2022 Australian Open men's singles final at 3:30 a.m. EST Saturday on ESPN.

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"If I'm not able to play at my top level, there will simply be no chance," Nadal said. "It is a day to enjoy. I will start thinking about what I need to do tomorrow."

Medvedev won his first career Grand Slam at the 2021 U.S. Open. He denied Novak Djokovic of a record 21st career major title with that victory.

Nadal is tied with Djokovic and Roger Federer with 20 career Grand Slam singles titles, the most in the history of men's tennis. He will try to set the new record this weekend.

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"I'm going to play again against one of the greatest," Medvedev said of Nadal. "What's funny is, I'm going to play someone going for their 21st Grand Slam again. ... Grand Slam finals are special.

"We've played a few matches. I'm ready. I know Rafa is a very strong player."

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