Kevin Anderson beats Pablo Carreño Busta to reach US Open final

Anderson, the Johannesburg-born, Florida-based player will be taking part in his maiden major final, where he'll attempt to become his country's first Slam champion since Johan Kriek won the 1981 Australian Open.

While victories over JC Aragone, Ernests Gulbis, Borna Coric and the unsafe Paolo Lorenzi were all high quality, it was the quarter-finals here he really appeared to hit his stride.

But Carreno Busta has a better record in 2017, winning 35 and losing 16 matches this year including picking up the title in Estoril.

"It was very hard at the end of a year ago", he said. Having come along in precisely the same age pocket as Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, who have 30 Grand Slam titles among them, and at the same time as Roger Federer, who has 19. The 2.03m tall Anderson had the golden opportunity to earn a double-break lead in the seventh game, but wasted two break points and allowed Carreno Busta to lessen the deficit instead.

The Spaniard struggled to handle Del Potro's serve and huge forehand in the opening set before finding his stride to set up a title-decider with South Africa's Kevin Anderson.

He said: "My biggest hope is that I'm able to inspire kids to play the sport".

In the final set Carreno Busta battled hard, producing some incredible shots as the game went deep, but he was unable to prevent Anderson from reaching the final.

The 6ft 8in (2.03m) Anderson climbed into his player's box to embrace his wife, brother and coach Neville Godwin after Carreno Busta's forehand found the net to finish the almost three-hour contest.

Anderson, seeded 28th, beat the Spanish 12th seed 4-6 7-5 6-3 6-4 in NY.

But it is Anderson and his huge serve - he has reached 137 miles per hour during the tournament - that has come through to the final on the bottom half.

Instead of risking injury to play Davis Cup tennis for little or no incentive, Anderson pursued his dream. By hoisting the trophy on Sunday, Nadal would cap off one of the best years of his illustrious career - less than a year after a chronic wrist injury threatened to end his career.

Anderson pounded 22 aces, including a 132-mph heater to close out the third set. That said, fatigue could be a factor for Anderson after his last match against Querrey.

The South African had the flawless start to the third set especially when he strolled to a comfortable service hold before earning a 0-40 lead on the return. Nadal is 5-2 in his last grand slam final appearances.

After dropping the first set to the big-serving Argentine, Nadal responded with a severe counterattack in the second set as the momentum shifted firmly in the Spaniard's favour.

  • Rosalie Stanley