Rafael Nadal has continued his dream comeback run by reaching the US Open 2017 final — his third Grand Slam title match appearance in the ongoing season.
It looked impossible for the Spaniard and his arch-rival Roger Federer to make a comeback at the start of the year, especially after injuries forced the duo to end their seasons early last year.
However, the champion players have battled odds and are looking set to clean-sweep the Grand Slam titles this year.
While world number three Federer, after winning the Australian Open and Wimbledon, stumbled in the quarter-final in New York, numero uno Nadal is a single victory away from winning his second major title after his record-breaking 10th French Open title earlier this year.
Nadal is all set to feature in his fourth US Open final on Sunday, September 10. The 2010 and 2013 champion — he had lost in 2011 — had contested all three of his championship matches in New York against Novak Djokovic. However, he will be up against a relatively easier opponent in South Africa's Kevin Anderson at the Arthur Ashe Stadium this time.
Nadal will start as the overwhelming favourite in what will be the first 30-and-over US Open final since the 2002 title match between Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi. The world number one has won all of his four meetings in the past against the big-serving Anderson, including their only Grand Slam meeting at Australian Open 2015.
Anderson, who makes his Grand Slam final debut on Sunday, has managed to steal only one set from Nadal so far. The 31-year-old South African has benefited from the withdrawals of top-ranked stars, including Djokovic, Stanislas Wawrinka and Andy Murray.
When does the match start and how to watch it live
- The Men's singles final between Nadal and Anderson will begin right after the Women's doubles final at the Arthur Ashe Stadium. It will not start before 4 pm local time [1:30am IST] on Monday.
Live streaming and TV coverage
India: TV: Star Sports Select 1/ Select 2. Live streaming: Hotstar
UK, Rest of Europe: TV: Eurosport. Live streaming: Eurosport Player
Japan: TV: WOWOW
Canada: TV: TSN, RDS
Africa: TV: Supersport. Live streaming: Supersport Live Streaming
South East Asia: TV: Fox Sports. Live streaming: Fox Sports Go
Anderson would be high on confidence after his impressive wins over in-form Sam Querrey and Pablo Carreno Busta in the quarter-final and semi-final, respectively. However, even his best might not be enough to stop the rampant Nadal, who is looking hungry to return home with yet another Grand Slam title — his 16th overall.
Nadal acknowledges that he has a good chance of finishing on top of the podium on Sunday. However, he does not want to be complacent, especially after struggling with poor starts in the initial rounds.
"It's great to see him [Anderson] in a final of one of the most important events of the year. It [the final] is going to be a tough one, I need to play at my best and I'm going to look forward to playing with full energy and full motivation to try and play the best tennis. I have good chances," Nadal said on Saturday, September 9.