Nadal overwhelms del Potro; faces Anderson in US Open final

Rafael Nadal is elated after his semi-final win over Juan Martin del Potro in New York on Friday. Pic  AFP

Busta counts the world No. 1 not only as a good friend but also as a mentor who has helped him reach his first Grand Slam singles semi-final.

Anderson, born in Johannesburg in May 1986 follows in the footsteps of Kevin Curren, who reached the 1985 Wimbledon final three months after becoming a naturalised US citizen, and Johan Kriek, who made the US Open final in 1980.

The 28th-seeded Anderson dropped the first set but powered past the 12th-seeded Spaniard 4-6 7-5 6-3 6-4 in a match that lasted nearly three hours on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Anderson is the first South African to reach the US Open final here since Cliff Drysdale lost to Manuel Santana on the grass of nearby Forest Hills in 1965.

He will have a chance to win his first U.S. Open title on Sunday when he faces the victor of Friday's second semifinal betwen No. 1 Rafeal Nadal and No. 19 Juan Martin del Potro.

He maintained his grip in the fourth set with breaks in the fourth and eighth games and as 12th seed Carreno Busta wilted, he broke again for 3-2 in the fourth in what proved the final blow. A bullet-like backhand victor sealed the second set for the South African, leveling the match at one set all. He bounced out American Sam Querrey in a four-set quarterfinal that ended at 1:51 a.m. on Wednesday and was Anderson's second-ever Grand Slam quarterfinal, following an appearance at the 2015 U.S. Open, where Wawrinka ran him out 6-4, 6-4, 6-0.

Dealing with the flu and a fever, del Potro came back from a two-set deficit to win his fourth-rounder in five sets, then got past 19-time major champion Federer in the quarterfinals in four. "It's something that I always dreamed about but something I never thought was going to arrive here". "I think just my emotions at the end summed it up". The South African prevailed in their meeting in Montreal in August‚ winning 6-3 7-6 in a second round clash.

He was broken in the ninth game of the first set and trailed off the bat.

He said: "My biggest hope is that I'm able to inspire kids to play the sport".

He became the top-ranked male South African player on 10 March 2008 after making the final at the 2008 Tennis Channel Open in Las Vegas.

"I don't know if the team hug was appropriate after the semi-finals, but it felt like the right thing to do", he said.

Arguably playing the best tennis of his career, Anderson has fired 92 aces in the tournament so far and has been aggressive in his approach as he too targets his first major.

"But there are a lot of good Spanish players".

Neither Carreno Busta nor Anderson has played in a semifinal at any Grand Slam tournament. "He said:" If he's in the final, he can beat everyone.

Carreno Busta still hasn't dropped a set in the tournament.



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