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Rafael Nadal vs. Kevin Anderson

11 September 2017

By hoisting the 2017 US Open trophy, the 31-year-old Rafael Nadal would cap off one of the best years of his storied career.

Anderson is the first South African to advance to a Grand Slam final since 1965. Curren had adopted American citizenship by the time he succumbed to teenager Boris Becker in the Wimbledon final the following year. So far, he has won 15 Grand Slam titles and has the opportunity to clinch his 16 at the expense of Anderson.

Incidentally, Anderson has been based in Florida in the U.S., where he bought a house in 2011, but still maintains his South African citizenship.

Nadal will be more than ready for Anderson to swing for the fences, but it will probably be the South African's best chance of snatching a set or two to pressure the Spaniard and provide a genuine contest.

Nadal will be playing in his fourth U.S. Open final, having won the title in 2010 and 2013. "I really need to be dominant and control proceedings as much as possible, because if you let him do it, it's very hard", said Anderson, the lowest-ranked US Open finalist since the ATP rankings began in 1973. "This means the absolute world to me".

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"It's been an incredible season, of course, after a couple of years with some troubles, injuries, tough moments", Nadal said, per the Associated Press.

Tennis South Africa (TSA) chief executive officer Richard Glover was thrilled when he spoke to City Press yesterday, saying Anderson's heroics would inspire young South Africans from all communities to play tennis.

Nadal was a little patchy in his opening rounds dropping a set against L Mayer and T Daniel but got back into his groove trouncing A. Dolgopolov in the fourth round to seal a quarter-final berth.

"It has been a very emotional season for me after all these years of injuries and setbacks", said the Spaniard.

After an early wobble, he switched gears to prevail and move within touching distance of his 16th grand slam title.

Rafael Nadal vs. Kevin Anderson