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US Open Tennis : Rafael Nadal of Spain advance to semi-finals
September 25 2017, 02:48 | Sammy Rose
US Open: Kevin Anderson seeks piece of history against Rafael Nadal in final
The Spaniard, watched by Tiger Woods in his player's box, then raced into a 3-0 lead in the third before Del Potro stopped the rot, having lost nine games in succession. He served well, had some big shots when he needed to.
Nadal vs Del Potro will be live on Eurosport 1.
Anderson, 31 years old and ranked 32nd in the world, is the lowest-ranked Grand Slam finalist since 38th-ranked Jo-Wilfried Tsonga fell at the 2008 Australian Open final.
A Del Potro double fault gave the Swiss another chance but he made a mess of a backhand half volley and on the fourth set point, the Argentine stayed in contention thanks to a forehand victor. "For sure I will try to make winners with my forehands and don't run too much, because my legs are exhausted". His serve was lethal, his forehand was punishing, and his backhand - his Achilles' heel since undergoing three surgeries to fix ligament damage in his left wrist - worked when he needed it. "When he's playing well, it's hard to stop him", admitted Nadal, who has lost his last two meetings on hardcourts with the 28-year-old.
It will be a sixth US Open semi-final for Nadal and 26th at the majors while Del Potro, the 24th seed, will be playing in just his fourth last-four match at the Slams.
Del Potro also claimed he was about to retire in his fourth round match against Dominic Thiem, but the support of the crowd spurred him on to a five set victory. The answer was no, because he would prefer to play someone who is easier to beat. I'm okay with it, and I tried until the very end. From those positions he is probably unstoppable. In effect, either victor will provide a surprise finalist, and while I make Anderson a favourite to win this evening, this price does appear rather short, given that data shows both players are relatively well matched statistically. This year, Del Potro's run in Flushing has been nothing short of remarkable.
Playing in his first semi-final at the Slams since losing the longest ever last-four clash to Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon in 2013, del Potro is riding a tidal wave of emotion in NY. You must be ready to take your chance.
"When you don't have that confidence to play three, four hours with a good backhand against Rafa, is just matter of time to get down your game". When a reporter asked Nadal what he admires most about Federer on the court and "as a man off the court", the Spaniard provided a lengthy answer about his rival's role as an ambassador for their sport and being a great example to kids - although only after trying to lighten the moment by drawing guffaws with this line: "I don't want to look like I'm going to be his boyfriend, no?" Federer, 36, insisted it was his physical struggles, along with the form of Del Potro that decided the match. I did my best game of the tournament tonight, and I play very smart during the whole match. Now I just really need to recover and go back to the practice courts and hopefully just finish strong.
"It's been an incredible season for me and I'm so happy to get a chance to fight for another title after a couple of seasons with injury troubles", said Nadal, who won a record-extending 10th French Open title in June.
"Against Rafa, it's going to be the same".
Nadal agreed that simply being in the last four made him feel good.
"Now the feeling is completely different".
He has won his past three matches in straight sets, his uppercut of a forehand at its most unsafe best. I am in the semi-finals. "He was better today, especially on the big points". Everything is there to win.