World number one Rafa Nadal moved one win away from a third US Open title and 16th Grand Slam title on Friday when he recovered from a set down to beat Juan Martin del Potro 4-6 6-0 6-3 6-2.
The two time US Open champion will be playing in his 23rd Grand Slam final and third this year.
Del Potro might have done Nadal a great favour by taking out his arc rival, Roger Federer in the quarter finals leaving him too weary to keep up with Nadal’s pace. The Argentine was already drained following an epic five-set win over Dominic Thiem and a four-set defeat of Roger Federer which Nadal had to capitalise on.
In Sunday’s final, Nadal will face 32nd-ranked Kevin Anderson, the first South African in the championship match in 52 years.
Anderson reached his maiden final at a Grand Slam by Knocking out 12th-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta 4-6 7-5 6-3 6-4.
The 31 year old South African will try to become his country’s first Grand Slam champion since Johan Kriek at the 1981 Australian Open.
Cliff Drysdale was the last South African man in the US Open final in 1965 but he was beaten by Manuel Santana.
If Nadal beats world 32nd ranked Kevin Anderson, it is believed he will become the first man to win a major tournament without facing a player inside the world’s top 25 along the way following injury withdrawals of Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori.
Anderson faces a huge task against the 2010 and 2013 US Open champion who has a 4-0 record in their head-to-head. The South African would have to do more than enough to beat an inform Nadal.
The women’s final takes place today at 9pm. Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys will battle for their maiden major title.