US Open 2017: Superb Kevin Anderson reaches first Grand Slam final

May JohnsonСен 11, 2017

Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta said playing in the shadow of Rafael Nadal, his country's most celebrated tennis player, has helped to keep the pressure off him as he has quietly advanced to the semi-finals of the US Open.

His 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 win will bring the first Grand Slam final for any South African since 1985, when a similarly big-serving Kevin Curren ran into a 17-year-old Boris Becker in the Wimbledon final.

The victor faces No. 28 seed Kevin Anderson on Sunday.

Anderson, who played college tennis at the University of IL and resides in Gulf Stream, Fla., is the first South African man to reach a Grand Slam final since Kevin Curren advanced to the Wimbledon final in 1985.

"Now I'm allowing myself to acknowledge all the good shots I hit", he said.

"It has been a long road".

Golfing compatriots and major winners Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen watched him win Friday on the NY hardcourts to reach the brink of a breakthrough win at 31. This year since the beginning has been very emotional. I was pretty nervous with it being the first time for both of us on the sport's most famous stage.

Kevin Anderson stretches for a backhand against Pablo Carreno Busta. This was the first ever Grand Slam semifinal appearance for either player, with the victor being ensured a debut in his first Grand Slam final.

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PERFORMANCE OF THE DAY: Rafa Nadal recovered from a first set blip to thump Juan Martin del Potro 4-6 6-0 6-3 6-2 and reach the final four years after his last title at Flushing Meadows.

But it is Anderson and his huge serve - he has reached 137 miles per hour during the tournament - that has come through to the final on the bottom half.

Czech Karolina Plishkova, the reigning number one and last year's US Open runner-up, must reach this year's final or lose the top spot to already-ousted Garbine Muguruza, the reigning Wimbledon champion.

When the US Open began, Nadal was practising well but playing so-so. He played his typical steady, if unspectacular, brand of tennis, earning two winners against just one unforced error.

With Hollywood star Robert Redford and Microsoft founder Bill Gates looking on, the big South African carved out the first break of the second set for 3-1 but handed it back straightaway in the next game. He served 22 aces to one for Carreno Busta, with a fastest serve of 135 miles per hour.

"For the last decade we've become so accustomed to seeing the same four guys (Roger Federer‚ Rafa Nadal‚ Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray) in a grand slam semi‚ so this is new‚ not only for me‚ but the whole tennis world".

Del Potro has been virtually running on empty.

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