Nadal moved closer to a fourth U.S. Open championship and 19th Grand Slam title overall - one away from Roger Federer's record for men - by pulling away for a 7-6 (6), 6-4, 6-1 victory over Berrettini on Friday night.
Nadal, who rose to 22-12 in five-set matches, has dropped only one Grand Slam match out of more than 200 when he has won the first two sets, the loss coming at the hands of Italy's Fabio Fognini in the 2015 US Open third round. Medvedev shifted styles, upped his level and received an unexpected boost from Arthur Ashe Stadium spectators. Only once before had Nadal lost a Grand Slam match after taking the opening two sets.
"This victory means a lot, especially the way the match became so hard, so tough", he said in an on-court interview.
Nadal has Wimbledon crowns in 2008 and 2010, an Australian Open title in 2009 and completed the career Grand Slam in 2010 by defeating Djokovic in the US Open final, becoming the youngest in the Open era to complete the four-event career sweep. At 23 years old, he has plenty of time to capture his first Grand Slam. "I was fighting for every point".
"I can't just think about Grand Slams, no?"
Who knows how much longer they will reign, but 2020 is shaping up to be special.
"But you can see that I can also change because I'm a human being". I think they appreciated it, " Medvedev said. "I actually have no idea why the demons go out when I play tennis".
The King of Clay, was at his majestic best as he kept his cool and defeated Medvedev of Russian Federation in a thrilling final to win his fourth US Open title.
It looked like more of the same for Nadal initially, as he took the first two sets from Medvedev.
The drama was not over yet.
Nadal booked his place in a fifth US Open final in familiar fashion on Saturday, out-muscling big-hitting Italian Matteo Berrettini 7-6 (6) 6-4 6-1 to set up an intriguing Sunday showdown against Russian villain Medvedev, who seems to have as many weapons in his tennis arsenal as personalities. This is Nadal's experience and Medvedev's missed opportunity.
Turns out, they stayed a lot longer. And while he would soon twice stand a single point from ceding that set, Nadal never panicked, never allowed himself a letdown.
"I just focus on trying to be 100% ready for it", said Nadal, who will be contesting his 27th Grand Slam final.
The Russian fifth seed broke Nadal with a sublime backhand return victor in the 10th game of the fourth set to take it 6-4 and keep alive his bid for a first Grand Slam title.