Kevin Anderson ends South Africa's 52-year US Open final wait

Hope Soto
September 10, 2017

Anderson, coming into the final grand slam of the year holding the 28th seed has been phenomenal in his performances.

Tennis - US Open - Semifinals - New York, U.S. - September 8, 2017 - Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts to won point against Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina.

Anderson, 31, will contest his maiden major final against top seed and 15-time slam champion Rafael Nadal following Friday's 4-6 7-5 6-3 6-4 win over 12th seed Carreno Busta at Flushing Meadows.

The dividend has been a year which has seen him make three Grand Slam finals, the fourth round at Wimbledon being the only let-down.

Anderson is the first South African to reach the US Open final here since Cliff Drysdale lost to Manuel Santana on the grass of nearby Forest Hills in 1965.

The 31-year-old will face either world number one and two-time champion Rafael Nadal or 2009 victor Juan Martin del Potro in Sunday's title match.

Carreno Busta broke the huge Anderson serve in game seven on his way to win the first set.

The 6ft 8in Anderson needed some inspiration and he found it with a backhand cross-court victor that brought him level at one set all.

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The hard-hitting South African has pounded 20 aces, including one at 132 miles per hour to end the set, to just one for Carreno Busta.

There was a tense final game to negotiate but a Carreno Busta forehand hit the net, sending Anderson up into the stands on a victory lap. Against veteran Paolo Lorenzi, he dropped a set in the tie-break before recovering to win 6-4 in the fourth set. Held on for the set 6-3. "My emotion at the end kind of summed it up". Being in a semifinal, he said, left him "unbelievably nervous starting out" against an opponent in the same semifinal-debut circumstance.

"I want to say it's a fantastic feeling, but at the same time I feel like I want to keep going in this tournament", Anderson said.

The key to this match, however, will be the battle between Anderson's serve and Carreno Busta's return.

"These Grand Slams are tough, we are playing with some of the best players in history and it is nice that they gave us a run", said the South African. "I mean, Rafa now is playing within himself a lot". If he starts strong and gets some momentum, he might be able to take the first set, but that'll be it.

"It was very hard at the end of past year", he said. In fact, he is the only one of the four men's semifinalists to not have dropped a set so far.

'If he's in the final, he can beat everyone. I think he was very focused here, in practice and also in the matches.

After closing out the match on his serve, Anderson climbed over a flower pot and into the stands to hug his wife, Kelsey, and others in his player's box. You know, his serve, he's been serving very well, it looks like.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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