With much being said about the top half of the US Open that consists of top seeds Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, the other half-bracket, however, will offer a Grand Slam final debutant.
On Tuesday in the men’s singles event, South Africa’s Kevin Anderson and Spain’s Pablo Carreño Busta reached a Grand Slam semi-final for the first time in their career’s.
South Africa’s Kevin Anderson ended America’s hopes in the men’s singles as he defeted Sam Querrey 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (9-11), 6-3, 7-6 (9-7) to reach the semi-finals.
With Anderson standing 6ft 8in (2.02m) and Querrey 6ft 6in (1.97m), it was the tallest match up ever so late in any Grand Slam (quarter-final, semi-final or final of the Open era).
“To play in one of the most famous courts in the world at night and to get through, it feels fantastic,” said Anderson.
Anderson becomes South Africa’s first Grand Slam semi-finalist since Wayne Ferreira at the 2003 Australian Open.
Anderson had an injury-ravaged 2016 which resulted to him starting the season at World No. 80 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.
His frustrations would not end there with hip, leg and right elbow problems stunting him at various points of the season.
Spanish 12th seed Pablo Carreño Busta, who is yet to drop a set at Flushing Meadow, was too good for Argentine Diego Schwartzman 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.
He defeated four qualifiers Evan King, Cameron Norrie, Nicolas Mahut and Denis Shapovalov to open his campaign and will now face familiar foe Kevin Anderson as he looks to continue his dream run.
“It’s incredible,” Carreño Busta said in his on-court interview. “It’s something that I always dreamed of, but never thought I could arrive here. I’m very excited to be in the semi-finals in this tournament.
“It was a very good match today. I tried to be focussed all the time. Diego is a fighter. You need to play aggressive and try to dominate the points, otherwise for sure Diego will beat you.”
Carreño Busta admitted he has had the luck of the draw – “Of course I know that I have a good draw here. But when you have this draw, you have to do your best to take advantage, so I think that is a really good tournament for me. I know that I didn’t win matches against top players, Top 10 or Top 20 players, but I am very happy with my tournament.”
Anderson and Carreño Busta have met twice before, including in the Round of 32 at last month’s ATP World Tour Masters 1000 in Montreal, Canada with the South African undefeated against the Spaniard.