World No. 7 Matteo Berrettini admitted Rafael Nadal was just better than him after losing to the Spaniard in the Australian Open semifinal. Nadal, a 20-time Grand Slam champion, saw off Berrettini 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-3 to reach the final at Melbourne Park.
Nadal made a strong start to the match as he broke Berrettini once in the first set and twice in the second set, all while dropping no service games in the opening two sets. "The first two sets weren't what I expected, what I wanted from myself.
I was, I wouldn't say flat, but I wasn't in the right mood, in the right mental mindset and for so many reasons," Berrettini said after the loss, as quoted on Tennis Majors.
Berrettini stood no chance against Nadal
Berrettini managed to win the third set but Nadal regrouped in the following set to prevent the italian from making a major comeback.
Today he was just way better than me. But like I said, it was a good run. I have a lot of things that I can improve and a lot of things that I did well. I'm proud of what I have done. But I guess in a way it's good that I still have room for improvement," Berrettini added.
On the other side, Nadal admitted he didn't expect to reach the Australian Open final. “For me, it's something completely unexpected, so I am super happy. I always try my best. My goal now is to win. [But] I am taking things in a little bit of a different way now.
Of course, with the competitive spirit that I have, I can't go against that. It's my personal DNA. But in some ways, [just to] be able to have the chance to compete at this level, it's positive energy for me to keep going, because being very honest, for me it is much more important to have the chance to play tennis than win number 21”.