Rafael Nadal v Kevin Anderson recap: How US Open 2017 final unfolded | Tennis | Sport

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Rafael Nadal will take on Kevin Anderson in the US Open 2017 final at Flushing Meadows

Nadal had won at Flushing Meadows before, lifting the trophy in 2010 and 2013, but has often been criticised for underperforming in New York.

And he was not always been convincing in 2017 on the way to the final, dropping sets on three occasions – against Taro Daniel, Leonardo Mayer and Juan Martin del Potro.

But he has made it through the rounds and started as the overwhelming favourite for the title against Anderson, who was two matches deeper in a Grand Slam than he has ever been before, a tag the Spaniard well and truly delivered on.

  • Martina Hingis wins 24th Grand Slam title in mixed doubles
  • Nadal breaks Anderson twice in first set to seal it 6-3 in 58 gruelling minutes
  • Spaniard takes second set 6-3 thanks to flawless serving as Anderson struggles to compete
  • Nadal overcomes late jitters to seal title

Rafael Nadal v Kevin Anderson as it happened

(*denotes next to serve)

12.20am: Right, that’s everything from us. The four Grand Slams in 2017 have been split between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Who’d have thought that?

Roger will be back. Novak will be back. Stan will be back. If they all get fit, the Australian Open next year might be something like we have never seen before.

12.10am: Nadal, ever the gentleman, first pays tribute to Anderson.

“Congrats to Kevin. He has been a great example for a lot of kids and the rest of the tour,” Nadal says.

“You had a lot of injuries and you came back. You have a great family and team and a great father I played a round of golf with at Wimbledon!”

12.05am: “Last year was really tough,” Kevin Anderson says.

“It’s been an amazing two weeks for me. To come back [from injury] and make a Grand Slam final is really special.

“The support I’ve had from South Africa has been overwhelming.

“This isn’t the result I wanted but I’ll keep fighting and I’ll be back.”

RAFAEL NADAL WINS THE US OPEN 2017 6-3, 6-3, 6-4

Just as Nadal looked rattled, rhythm upset by the crowd shouting out as he prepared to serve, Anderson misses an overhead at 15-15 and at 30-30 he slaps Nadal’s famous kick serve down the T long of the baseline.

Championship point, Nadal…but Anderson gets a good look at a second serve to force deuce on the Nadal serve for the very first time. The South African tries to read the T serve again but Nadal goes wide and completely fools him.

Championship point, Nadal…and he serve-and-volleys his way to the win!

*Nadal 6-3, 6-3, 5-4 Anderson

Anderson serves two aces in the game and makes sure Nadal will at least have to serve it out.

Nadal 6-3, 6-3, 5-3 Anderson*

Yet another love hold – Nadal has only lost TWELVE points on his serve – and the Spaniard is one game away from 16 Grand Slam titles.

*Nadal 6-3, 6-3, 4-3 Anderson

Anderson holds and shouts “come on!” to himself as much as anything else. But he follows that positive body language by spending the changeover buried in a towel. If that sends a message, it’s not a good one…

Nadal 6-3, 6-3, 4-2 Anderson*

If there was a lull, I think it might be over. Anderson unloads on a return at 0-15, recognising the opportunity as potentially his last, but the backhand goes well wide and there aren’t enough…

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