Irrepressible Nadal chases 16th Slam
RAFAEL Nadal moved one win away from a third US Open title and 16th Grand Slam crown Friday when he defeated weary Juan Martin del Potro 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, 6-2.
The 31-year-old Spaniard, the 2010 and 2013 champion in New York, will play his 23rd Slam final and third this year, looking to add the US title to his record 10th French Open.
In the final, the world No.1 will face 32nd-ranked Kevin Anderson, the first South Afri- can in the championship match in 52 years.
Anderson reached his first final at the majors by beating 12th-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4.
For 2009 champion Del Potro, Friday’s match was one too many as the physical and emotional toll of seeing off Roger Federer in four sets in the previous round left him spent.
“I have had an amazing season after some tough moments with injuries in recent years,” said Nadal, who started 2017 by finishing runner-up to Federer in Australia. “It’s a very emotional year for me. I am in the final again and get the chance to fight for another title which is very important.”
Anderson celebrated his semi-final victory as if it made him the champion by climbing into the stands.
“I don’t know if it’s appropriate,” said the 31-year-old South African. “It certainly felt the right thing to do.”
Rafael Nadal hits a return against Juan Martin del Potro during their semi-final