Rafael Nadal will look to add a 16th Grand Slam title to his kitty after he overcame the Argentine challenge of Juan Martin del Potro in the 2017 US Open semi-final.
The top seeded Nadal came through in four sets against the Argentine, who had earlier knocked Roger Federer out in the quarter-final to set up a meeting with South Africa’s Kevin Anderson in the final.
Nadal fell behind in his semi-final when he lost the first set 6-4, but romped to nine games in a row to not only level things up but also go up a break in the third. He finished off the encounter 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, 6-2 to register his ninth win against del Potro.
He said after his semi-final win:
“It means a lot. It has been an amazing season of course after a couple with injures and troubles. To be back here in front of this amazing crowd, on this amazing court, and to have the chance to fight for another title is so important to me.”
Anderson also needed four sets to defeat another Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta, winning his semi-final 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4.
Ranked 32nd in the world going into this tournament, Anderson is the lowest-ranked player to have made the US Open final since the ranking system was first introduced in 1973. And now he faces a player who is not only in the form of his life but also has a 4-0 head to head record against Anderson.
Anderson was blessed with a good draw but that shouldn’t take away from the fact that so were many of the others – he beat American qualifier JC Aragone in his opening round before routing Ernests Gulbis in the second in straight sets.
A straight-set win over Borna Coric was followed by Paolo Lorenzi in four sets before he met his first seeded opponent of the competition – 17th seeded Sam Querrey. Querrey did manage to push him to four sets and three tie-breakers but that wasn’t enough.
Two of Nadal’s previous wins against Anderson have come on hard court surfaces as well, so that should hold him good stead. They last played earlier this year in Barcelona on clay and Nadal won 6-3, 6-4.