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Rediff.com  » Sports » US Open: Nadal crushes Del Potro, sets up Anderson final

US Open: Nadal crushes Del Potro, sets up Anderson final

Last updated on: September 09, 2017 09:18 IST

Rafael Nadal

IMAGE: Rafael Nadal celebrates his victory against Juan Martin del Potro. Photograph: Mike Segar/Reuters

Rafael Nadal was at his awe-inspiring best as he recovered from a first set wobble to crush Juan Martin del Potro 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, 6-2 in the US Open semi-finals on Friday and move within reach of a 16th Grand Slam title.

The Spaniard struggled to handle Del Potro's serve and huge forehand in the opening set before finding his stride to set up a title-decider with South Africa's Kevin Anderson on Sunday.

Anderson battled back to defeat 12th seeded Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 and punch his ticket to his first Grand Slam final.

The 31-year-old, ranked 32 in the world, is the lowest-ranked Grand Slam finalist since 38th-ranked Jo-Wilfried Tsonga fell at the 2008 Australian Open final.

Del Potro, who had played a total of nine sets in the two previous rounds as Nadal cruised into the last four, ran out of gas and looked toothless against the Spanish juggernaut.

Nadal ended the 2009 champion's ordeal with a splendid backhand passing shot on his first match point, four years after his last title at Flushing Meadows.

South Africa's Kevin Anderson celebrates his win against Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta

IMAGE: South Africa's Kevin Anderson celebrates his win against Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta. Photograph: Shannon Stapleton

Earlier in the day, big-serving South African Kevin Anderson battled back to defeat 12th seeded Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 and punch his ticket to his first grand slam final at the US Open on Friday.

Anderson, who in the absence of world number two Andy Murray benefited from a favourable draw, will face either world number one Rafa Nadal or Argentine Juan Martin del Potro in Sunday's final.

The 6ft 8in (2.03m) Anderson climbed into his player's box to embrace his wife, brother and coach Neville Godwin after Carreno Busta's forehand found the net to finish the nearly three-hour contest.

The 31-year-old, ranked 32 in the world, is the lowest-ranked grand slam finalist since 38th-ranked Jo-Wilfried Tsonga fell at the 2008 Australian Open final.

Anderson was out of sorts to begin with. He hit 14 unforced errors including a backhand that sailed long to hand the composed Carreno Busta a rare break to go up 4-3 in the first set.

The Spaniard closed it out but Anderson settled down after a see-sawing second set and delivered his 20th ace, a 132 mile per hour bullet, to take the third.

The South African's power eventually wore down the 26-year-old Carreno Busta, who had not dropped a set in the tournament prior to the match.

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