Del Potro's backhand fails against Nadal

Del Potro's backhand fails against Nadal

Del Potro's backhand fails against Nadal

Heading into Sunday's match - well, mismatch, apparently - Nadal owns 15 Grand Slam titles, including two at Flushing Meadows in 2010 and 2013.

Rafael Nadal made sure there wouldn't be a repeat of 2009.

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal of Spain and Kevin Anderson of South Africa defeated their respective opponents to enter the men's singles final of the US Open tennis tournament here. First of all, it is the experience of a 23rd final against the nerves of playing in a first. The 31-year-old has been playing professionally since 2001 and is a two-time victor of the US Open. This will be his third major final this year.

This is the first US Open final to feature a first-time Grand Slam finalist since 2014 (when Marin Cilic defeated Kei Nishikori), and first Grand Slam to feature a first-time finalist since Milos Raonic at Wimbledon past year. His last major wins were in 2013 but, like Federer, he has come alive with a newly found vigor. "If you practice well and you feel well, you have more chances to win." concluded Nadal.

Nadal is 31, No. 1 in the world - a ranking he won't shed regardless of what happens Sunday afternoon - and clearly has a whole lot of tennis left in him if the world unfolds as it should. "But here we are". While Del Potro disrupted the much anticipated Nadal-Federer rematch by beating Federer in the quarterfinals, just days later he disappointed himself and his rowdy Argentinian supporters when he succumbed to the energy and technique of Nadal.

In Del Potro, Nadal overcame one of the biggest servers in the game and will face a similar test against the equally big-serving Anderson, who recorded 22 aces in his semifinal victory. Clearly the fresher of the two players after two speedy straight set wins, Nadal used it to his full advantage.

The runaway Nadal train continued to run hot in the third set, with Del Potro unable to stop the rot, despite encouragement from the Argentinean contingent.

Woods was a guest of Nadal, sitting in the Spaniard's box seats. "So that's the most important thing for me".

"I'm looking forward to the opportunity".

US Open 2017 Men's Singles Final | Rafael Nadal starts as overwhelming favorite against Kevin Anderson in title clash
Del Potro's backhand fails against Nadal

"I've only been on the job since the end of a year ago and since then we've really embarked on a building phase within Tennis South Africa". The only way to change is to try to move him more to leave the ball a little bit more unpredictable. "I have been really focused on trying to take care of my business, my side of the court". From the fourth round on, he has hit more than 50 winners in each match. He won his first major as a teenager; there's no reason why he can't continue to rack up the titles into his mid-30s.

U.S. Open statistics are courtesy of USOpen.org, while career and season statistics are courtesy of ATPWorldTour.com unless otherwise noted.

But having reached his first Grand Slam final at the age of 31 and at the 32nd attempt, he is the blueprint for perseverance.

At 6ft 8in tall, Anderson's serve is his major weapon - he leads the tournament with 114 aces - and the South African has been more aggressive with his ground game in NY. The fortuitous bounce would be all the luck the Argentine needed, closing out the opener with eight of 10 service points won.

Well, where do we start?

In his way will be Kevin Anderson, who at 6-foot-8 is the tallest-ever Slam finalist.

It's really great that Kevin Anderson is into his first major final. "And I did and I'm very happy". "I've been exhausted after the [Dominic] Thiem match, the Roger [Federer] match".

This is the second consecutive US Open men's final to feature a first time finalist (after Stan Wawrinka last year).

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