History-Making Anderson Roars Into US Open Final

Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain serves to Diego Schwartzman of Argentina during the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open tennis tournament Tuesday Sept. 5 2017 in New York

Anderson found himself ranked at world No. 80 at the start of the year, following an injury hit 2016, but has fought his way into a first Grand Slam final admirably to return to the top-20 at the end of the final major of the year.

Both players were high on confidence especially with Anderson defeating home favorite Sam Querrey in the quarterfinals and Carreno Busta not losing a set on his way to the semifinals.

The 23-time major champion gave a Twitter shoutout Friday to Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens, who will play in the first all-American women's final at Flushing Meadows since Williams beat her older sister Venus 15 years ago.

Anderson, who played college tennis at the University of IL and resides in Gulf Stream, Fla., is the first South African man to reach a Grand Slam final since Kevin Curren advanced to the Wimbledon final in 1985.

The victor of the match would meet either 15-time Grand Slam victor Rafael Nadal of Spain or 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina in Sunday's final.

The 6ft 8in Anderson needed some inspiration and he found it in the second set with a backhand cross-court victor that brought him level at one set all. The pressure seemed to have overwhelmed him as he threw in his first double fault of the match at 30-30, gifting Anderson a set point.

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After six consecutive service holds to start the match with, a break point finally surfaced as a couple of unforced errors caused Anderson to play a loose game, eventually gifting the break to the Spaniard after sending a backhand long. "I'm just over the moon right now".

"Today was the day to play the best match of the tournament since that moment, because I (was) going to play against the toughest opponent in that moment, and that opponent, as I said before, coming with big confidence".

"I don't know if the team hug was appropriate after the semi-finals, but it felt like the right thing to do", he said. Both Carreno Busta and Anderson are players who are used to flying under the radar, but can firmly grab the limelight by making the final.

But Nadal looks in very good shape to claim Grand Slam number 16.

"This means the absolute world to me", Anderson said. The Spaniard's first four matches were all against qualifiers - a record in the men's game in the Open era - and he then beat the 29 seed, Diego Schwartzman, in the quarters. In fact, he is the only one of the four men's semifinalists to not have dropped a set so far.

"He was playing with confidence, was very good, and he was more aggressive than me". I think that I have to take a lot of positive things from this tournament, because I won a lot of matches. The South African won his opening three rounds in straight sets against JC Aragone, Ernests Gulbis and Borna Coric respectively.

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