RAFA NADAL BEATS DEL PO & ANDERSON BEATS PABLO CARRENO • U.S. OPEN TENNIS 2017

Written by: on 8th September 2017
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USA TENNIS US OPEN 2017
RAFA NADAL BEATS DEL PO & ANDERSON BEATS PABLO CARRENO • U.S. OPEN TENNIS 2017

epa06193378 Rafael Nadal of Spain hits a return to Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina during their US Open Tennis Championships men's semifinal round match at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York, USA, 08 September 2017. The US Open runs through September 10. EPA-EFE/JUSTIN LANE  |

By Ricky Dimon

 

Rafael Nadal is one win away from a 16th Grand Slam title and third at the U.S. Open. The world No. 1 took another step–and a big one–toward that destination when he defeated Juan Martin Del Potro 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, 6-2 during semifinal action on Friday night.

 

Like five Del Potro opponents before him, Nadal fell victim to perhaps the most ferocious forehand in tennis–but only briefly. After losing the first set by getting broken just once, the top-seeded Spaniard picked up his aggressiveness and his overall level to take complete control. Nadal struck more winners than Del Potro in each of the last three sets, including by a whopping 13 to two margin in the second.

 

“I don’t feel I [made] many mistakes after that first set,” Nadal reflected. “And I really hit good winners. I served well; I served really well. In general terms, [it was] a great match. I’m very happy with the way I played.”

 

“Rafa just played even better the last three sets of the match,” Del Potro said. “I couldn’t hit my backhand as good as I did in the beginning of the match. He was [dominating]. He played well…. To be honest, I’m angry to lose a chance like this, but maybe tomorrow I will be calm and see how big the tournament was for me.”

 

This tournament is getting bigger and bigger with each passing round for Kevin Anderson. In fact, it is without question the best of his career. The South African is through to his first major final after beating Pablo Carreno Busta 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 in Friday’s opening semifinal.

 

Anderson dropped serve once in the first set and gave back a break in the second, but a break of Carreno Busta’s serve at 6-5 to level the match proved to be the turning point. In sets three and four, the world No. 32 fired a combined 10 aces without double-faulting and did not face a single break point.

 

“(It’s) definitely amazing feeling being in this position and have worked very hard to get here,” Anderson commented. “It feels great to be in the stage I’m in. More important, (I) have given myself a shot at being in the finals and I will be playing for a Grand Slam trophy. That’s an amazing feeling. I have to get ready; still obviously a very difficult match ahead of me. But I think right now I’m just trying to unwind a little bit and just enjoy sort of today’s match.”

 

Carreno Busta came out on the losing end of it, but he was satisfied with the overall quality.

 

“I think it was really good match,” the 12th seed assessed. “Maybe at the beginning he did a lot of mistakes, but I played aggressive, too. So I think the first set was very good for me. But then he started to play more aggressive…. He was playing with confidence, was very good, and he was more aggressive than me. Congrats to him, because we played very good match.”

 

It’s safe to say Anderson will have to do the same on Sunday when an even better Spaniard comes calling.

 

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

 

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