By Jake Davies

  • Rafael Nadal [1] vs Kevin Anderson [28]
NEW YORK, USA – After a wonderful two weeks of amazing tennis, the World No.1 player Rafael Nadal will try to win a third US Open title, but South Africa’s Kevin Anderson stands in his way.

Rafael Nadal [1] vs Kevin Anderson [28] H2H: Nadal leads 4-0

Photo: AP/REX/Shutterstock | Kevin Anderson US Open 2017, Flushing Meadows, New York

With the way in which the 2017 season has played out, it is not that surprising to see the No.1 seed Rafael Nadal competing in his fourth US Open final and looking for his 16th Grand Slam singles title overall.

Kevin Anderson had regularly stumbled at the fourth round stage of Grand Slam draws. The South African lost nine of his 10 fourth round matches coming into this slam, but has really taken advantage of the draw that opened up enormously since the top players like Andy Murray had to pull out of the final Grand Slam of the year.

The head-to-head shows Nadal leading 4-0, with an impressive performance at the 2015 Australian Open standing out, where Nadal won in straight sets. The question is whether Anderson has the necessary defensive tools to prevent this match from being a one-sided affair. We know that Anderson has a very good attacking game and can get a lot of cheap points with his serve, but can he win enough points when the points are being largely dominated by the Spaniard? The key for Anderson is to stop Nadal from being the one that dictates with his forehand and that can be influenced with Anderson’s court position, first and foremost.

For Nadal, it is about backing himself with the forehand down the line. It is about making sure he has the belief that he will connect cleanly with his deadly forehand. When his forehand down the line is not flying for winners it really affects his mind. If he focuses on regularly going for his shots down the line, it will make Anderson cover more ground from deep behind the baseline, and we all know that Nadal is the much better mover and has the much more active footwork of the two players.

I think Nadal is the heavy favourite and will win his second major of the season. It is quite astounding that the man has made three Grand Slam finals after so many setbacks and so many moments of doubt. A win on Sunday would be the icing on the cake and would confirm his resurgence to the top of the men’s game.

Prediction: Nadal in three sets.

 

POLL – Who is your pick for the US Open 2017 Men’s Singles Title?

 

 

The US Open 2017 Men’s Single’s final takes place on Sunday at 4pm (9pm BST).

Main Image: Ella Ling/REX/Shutterstock

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