The last remaining part of the Big 4, Rafael Nadal, took care of business on Friday night, defeating an exhausted Juan Martin Del Potro to reach the US Open final. On the other side of the court he’ll face Kevin Anderson on Sunday, with most of Spain, South Africa, and a good portion of the world tuning into the action in New York as Nadal looks to claim Grand Slam #16, and US Open title #3. Anderson is looking for his maiden slam title at 31 years old. Brett Margolies, Steen Kirby, and Ryan Schick offer their predictions.
Rafael Nadal vs. Kevin Anderson
Steen: Nadal has never lost to Anderson (4-0), and he has dropped just one set in those matchups. The 31 year olds have both accomplished great things this tournament, as Nadal is fully back as the ATP’s best (for as long as half of the top 10 is injured at least), and Anderson has achieved a breakthrough first slam final that is not only big for his own career, but massive for South African sport as a whole. Anderson has shown he’s much more than just a big serve, having massively stepped up his return game, improved his footwork, and learned how to hammer his groundstrokes and win against defensive oriented players like Carreno Busta, who he defeated in the semifinals. Nadal put on the gas against Juan Martin Del Potro though, and can absorb Anderson’s power, redirecting it enough to win points. Nadal is the favorite for a reason. Nadal in 4
Ryan: Anderson is playing incredible tennis right now, from looking like his career was coming to a close to playing the best tennis he’s ever played. However, Nadal is on another level right now. Dominated Delpo and has not lost a set after the first set all tournament. Anderson will put up a strong fight, but Nadal’s grinding play and stellar mental game will bring him major number 16. Nadal in 4
Brett: After what we just saw from Rafael Nadal in the last 3 sets of his win over Juan Martin Del Potro it’s hard to see Kevin Anderson posing much of a threat. The big serving South African has made a great run that might be career changing for him but this one will be all Nadal on Sunday. Look for the Spainiard to continue what we saw tonight and win the US Open for the third time in his career. Nadal in 3