Rafa Nadal reached his 29th Grand Slam final on Friday after beating Italian Matteo Berrettini 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

The Spanish veteran had a minor hiccup, losing the third set, before finishing off his opponent in four sets.

It will be Nadal’s sixth Australian Open final, having won it in 2009 and lost in the 2012, 2014, 2017 and 2019 editions.

Matteo Berrettini celebrates in the third set. Photo: Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

Nadal was untroubled winning the first two sets, but Berrettini fought back on the third and showed why he’s up there in the rankings, with some unplayable shots.

Even Nadal applauded a couple of his shots.

But the recovery didn’t last long as Nadal then took control in the fourth set to take out the match.

It is a remarkable turnaround for Nadal, who at 35, took much of last year off to recover from injury.

Rafa Nadal was at his best in the first two sets. Photo: KARL WINTER

And the Spaniard, who played a five-setter in the previous round win over Denis Shapovalov, showed plenty of energy to bounce back as Berrettini pushed on.

It was not to be for the Italian, and Nadal will meet either Daniil Medvedev or Stefanos Tsitsipas in Sunday’s final.

Rafa Nadal celebrates winning the second set on his way to victory at Melbourne Park. Photo: KARL WINTER