Rafael Nadal is a 1/7 favourite to beat Daniil Medvedev (9/2) in Sunday’s US Open final but is still wary of his young opponent.
Nadal, 33, saw off Matteo Berrettini in straight sets to book his spot in the Flushing Meadows showpiece and will be gunning for his fourth title.
The Spaniard was challenged early on and had to save two set points in the opener before running out a 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 6-1 winner in New York.
In the final, he will take on controversial young Russia Medvedev, who downed Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 6-3 to advance to his first Grand Slam final.
The 23-year-old had never been past the fourth round of a ‘Slam before this tournament but will now take on one of the best players ever to pick up a racquet.
Most things point to a Nadal victory but the left-hander is taking nothing for granted.
“Daniil is one of the most solid players on the tour, he’s making steps every week and he had an amazing summer,” he said. “He will be the toughest opponent and I will need to play my best.”
Medvedev has not exactly endeared himself to the Big Apple fans, with controversial behaviour in post-match interviews, and has at times been booed by sections of the crowd.
However, the world number four seems to thrive on the animosity and has already stated that he feeds off the atmosphere created by the fans.
Medvedev has come through a few tough four-set encounters to date but will need to dig deep into all his reserves of energy to stand any chance against a man who just never gives up.