Rafael Nadal is through to an incredible 23rd career Grand Slam final where he will take on Kevin Anderson of South Africa, who came through in four sets in his semi-final against Pablo Carreño Busta to reach his first major final.
Tennis enthusiasts’ expected a blockbuster clash between two of the game’s stars with the biggest forehands (Nadal and del Potro) and that was exactly what they got.
Del Potro settled quicker and took the first 6-4. But Nadal in his typical fashion, displayed the usual warrior-like mindset we are accustomed to, and his bullish mood helped him comfortably over the line in this one.
The Spanish conquistador won his most recent Grand Slam in Paris, becoming the first player in the Open era to win the same major on 10 occasions. Prior to the French Open victory, he also won a 10th career title at the Monte Carlo and Barcelona Open this season.
“It’s been an amazing season after a couple of years with troubles, injuries,” Nadal said. “It’s very emotional for me to be on this amazing court in front of an amazing crowd, to be in another final and to have a chance to fight for another title.”
Nadal has now won all 15 Grand Slam semi-finals he’s played since he was sent packing in the 2009 US Open semi-final by none other than Juan Martin del Potro, who captured his lone Grand Slam title here in New York that year.
15-time major champion, Nadal will be bidding to win a third US Open title, which will double as a 16th Grand Slam trophy if he wins on Sunday.
The match on Sunday will be Nadal’s third Grand Slam final appearance this year. The last time Nadal competed in three Grand Slam finals in a year was in 2011. But sadly he only won the French Open that year, losing at Wimbledon and the US Open.
“It is almost impossible, but here we are,” said Nadal, of this incredible year in which he’s already won four titles.
Are we going to see a repeat of that come Sunday?