U.S. Open final preview and prediction: Nadal vs. Anderson

Rafael Nadal and Kevin Anderson will be going head-to-head for the fifth time in their careers when they battle for the U.S. Open title on Sunday.

All four of their previous encounters have gone Nadal’s way, and he is 3-0 against Anderson on hard courts. The Spaniard is a commanding 9-1 in total sets, dropping only one in a 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-2 victory at the Paris Masters in 2015. Their only Grand Slam showdown came at the 2015 Australian Open, where Nadal cruised 7-5, 6-1, 6-4. A similarly straightforward affair was the result when the two veterans most recently collided on the red clay of Barcelona this spring, with the current world No. 1 getting the job done 6-3, 6-4.

Nadal and Anderson also faced each other way back at the 1998 Under 12 Junior Masters in Stuttgart, Germany. Prior to their Barcelona contest, Anderson’s wife posted this gem on Twitter.

Almost 20 years later, Nadal is still going strong at 31 years old. In fact, that is an understatement. He is turning in one of his best-ever seasons, with three major final appearances–including this one–and a 10th title at the French Open. Nadal is well on his way to the year-end No. 1 ranking especially if he triumphs on Sunday. Although the 15-time slam champion predictably cooled off after leaving Roland Garros, he is back on track this fortnight with mostly routine defeats of Dusan Lajovic, Taro Daniel, Leonardo Mayer, Alexandr Dolgopolov, Andrey Rublev, and Juan Martin Del Potro.

Anderson has also avoided any five-set drama while taking out J.C. Aragone, Ernests Gulbis, Borna Coric, Paolo Lorenzi, Sam Querrey, and Pablo Carreno Busta. The 32nd-ranked South African did not lose serve a single time through three rounds before getting broken twice by Lorenzi, once by Querrey, and twice by Carreno Busta. This is Anderson’s first-ever appearance in a major final and he had never previously advanced to a semifinal.

“He’s a huge player with an unbelievable serve,” Nadal said of his upcoming adversary. “He had some injuries, so he’s a big example for the kids and for the rest of the tour; he was able to be back and play his best tennis now. I’m happy for him, because I’ve known him since we were 12 years old. It’s great to see him in the final of one of the most important tournaments of the year.”

“Nadal is one of the greatest competitors in sports, period,” Anderson commented. “He’s an amazing fighter. He really controls the court well. I really need to be dominant and control proceedings as much as possible because if you let him do it, it’s very difficult.”

Nobody this fortnight has been able to produce a potent enough combination of offense and consistency to trouble Nadal for more than a set. Anderson has the kind of game that can do it, but he too has never been able to accomplish the feat. It is an especially difficult task, of course, in a Grand Slam championship match.

Nadal, who has been in this situation on 22 previous occasions, should have slam title No. 16 coming his way.

Pick: Nadal in 3

44 Comments on U.S. Open final preview and prediction: Nadal vs. Anderson

    • Stan, besides being nervous, Anderson doesn’t have the court speed, power and skills (especially returning an din the Rallies) to keep up with Nadal!

      On top of all that he needs to add some aggression to match Nadal’s! He is kinda afraid of Nadal now!lol

  1. Yes, I am doing it(breaking the Big Bird Anderson for Dinner!lol) for you dear!(Rafa saying!lol)

    Your wish of a 3-0 Rafa win might just happen!

    • K. Anderson needs to play well in the 3rd set, he is a good player and can play better.

      He is too old too nervous, stop being a baby.

  2. Made it 2-0 for you now dear Mira (Rafa saying)!lol

    Sit tight Mira, I am busy frying the Big Bird for 3-0 now for Dinner!Ha,Ha,Ha…

  3. The semifinal was better than this nonsense.

    This Grand Slam final is a joke.

    K. Anderson will regret this match for the rest of his life.
    As big as he is, as old as he is, he is playing crap.
    He is a tall baby, he was too nervous in the 1st and 2nd set, he should be ashamed of himself.

    They should end this match right now and give everyone their money back as compensation 4 this nonsense K. Anderson is playing.

    • It’s just that simple! There is not that much Anderson can do!! Rafa is outclassing him in ALL departments!!

      VAMOS!!

  4. Since when did Rafa and Tiger get so tight? Lol!

    What happen to the days when Tiger used to be in Roger’s corner, eh?!!

  5. Since when did Rafa and Tiger get so tight? Lol!

    What happen to the days when Tiger used to be in Roger’s corner, eh?!!

    Interesting, very interesting!!

  6. They should give Nadal the trophy right now, this match is a joke, this guy is not competitive, fans should beat him up when he is heading to his hotel lol!

    What is the name of his hotel?
    I want to pay him a visit, this guy is a joke, a complete joke.

    R. Nadal is too good 4 me.
    An injured R. Federer will play 10 times better than this nonsense.

  7. Congrats to R. Nadal!
    Congrats to Rafans!
    Well done!

    I am going to bed early, good night everyone.
    This guy is a waste!!!

    Well done Rafito!
    16 Grand Slams.

  8. I haven’t watched it but th scoreline looks competitive to me. 3 3 and 4 is a good effort IMO.

    Nadal is arguably the greatest of all time. Give the man a break.

  9. Rafa won:
    ¤ his 3rd US Open ✌ ✌ ✌ and
    ¤ his 16th GS title ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Fist pump! ? Hurraaay! ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
    Vaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamoooooooooooooooos Rafa !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Wooohooo!!!….SWEEEETTT 16!!!!…..THANK U GOD!!THANK U FOR THIS AMAZING GIFT TO RAFA & US RAFANS!!!…OH GOD!!THANK U!!

  11. Yeeeeehaaaaahhhh!!!! He did it! That screaming you heard was me at match point, sorry about that. (well, no, not really)

    • Oh Ramara! is that you? USTA/US Open officials are looking for you now for distracting Nadal!Ha,ha,ha…

      Congrats to you and all those who supported Nadal and bet on him to win!

  12. Mira, I fulfilled your wish (winning by 3-0) and the wish of 1000’s of RAFANS on http://tenngrand.com.(Rafa saying!lol)

    Are you happy now? Ha,ha,ha…

    Can you hear me (Rafa) now! (NO, This is not a Verizon Advertisement. It is me, your Rafa!)!

    Now cheer for me now! Seriously! Let me hear your voices! Louder now!Ha,ha,ha…

    Vamos Rafa! Viva la Raza Rafa!

  13. Congrats to all Rafans. Group hug.

    Never ever thought 2017 would turn out this way.

    Rafas smile at the end made up for all the 2015 and 2016 periods.

    Vamos Rafa.. No 16.. World No 1..#amazing fighter and world class competitor

    This goes on to prove never write premature obituaries of champions..both Rafa and Fed proved all naysayers wrong this year and how.

    It is fitting and poetic justice that the slams got split between both this time..2 a piece..Never thought they would take all 4 this year..what a turnaround..

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