Nadal overwhelms del Potro; faces Anderson in US Open final

Rafael Nadal claimed a hard-fought victory over Juan Martin del Potro and was a step away from his third title at the US Open.

For one set, anyway, the U.S. Open had the next best thing to a long-anticipated Rafael Nadal-Roger Federer semifinal. "I will now face a very tough opponent, probably the most important match for me that remains this year, so I gonna try my best to play my best".

Asked if he was thinking about Nadal, the third seed said: "I wasn't".

Saturday's other semi is between 12th-seeded Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta and South African Kevin Anderson, both of whom are playing their first grand slam semi-final.

It's safe to say Anderson will have to do the same on Sunday when an even better Spaniard comes calling.

Another semi-final where two players take to tennis in very different ways.

Ever since the US Open draws were announced fans, analysts, tennis lovers and even for say Roger Federer - have been eagerly waiting for the two to face each other for the first time in NY.

Other top men's singles players were also forced to miss tennis' most prestigious hard-court event due to injuries: Serbian great Novak Djokovic, Canada's Milos Raonic, Swiss defending champion Stan Wawrinka and Japan's Kei Nishikori. He returned to No. 1 this season, after a dip in 2015 and 2016, when he won zero Grand Slams and dropped to No. 10 in the rankings. About Nadal's US Open stats - 3-2 is where it stands as, as far as semi-final round goes as; 22-3 at a semis accounting all Grand Slams. The Spanish master then changed tactics and strung nine games together after dropping the first set to beat the 2009 champion 4-6 6-0 6-3 6-2.

"If I win, I will be happy, but being healthy and feeling well and complete is more important than winning Grand Slams", stated Nadal as media reports suggest. Nadal struck more winners than Del Potro in each of the last three sets, including by a whopping 13 to two margin in the second.

"I will have to play my best tennis".

Del Potro and Nadal meet in Friday's second semi-final at about 23:30 BST. I knew it was going to be a tough one. "Maybe at the beginning he did a lot of mistakes, but I played aggressive, too".

An exhausted Del Potro began netting easy shots and found himself down an early break in the fourth set.

"Of course it is a pity, but Juan Martin deserves it more".

"Physically I'm not in the flawless conditions, but when you play semi-finals on the Grand Slam, everything can happen", he said. This time, the 24th-seeded del Potro actually edged ahead with the match's first break, going up 3-2 in the first set when his backhand return caught the net tape and took a fortuitous roll over to Nadal's side for a victor.


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