By Jake Davies

  • Rafael Nadal [1] vs Juan Martin Del Potro [24]
  • Kevin Anderson [28] vs Pablo Carreno Busta [12]
NEW YORK, USA –  Juan Martin Del Potro denied the ‘Fedal’ matchup with a stunning upset over Roger Federer, while Kevin Anderson and Pablo Carreno Busta seek a first ever major final when they face-off in the first of the US Open semi-finals.

Rafael Nadal [1] vs Juan Martin Del Potro [24] H2H: Nadal leads 8-5

 Juan Martin Del Potro US Open 2017, Flushing Meadows, New York

Photo by Jon Buckle/SilverHub/REX/Shutterstock | Juan Martin Del Potro US Open 2017, Flushing Meadows, New York

Rafael Nadal leads the head-to-head 8-5, but all of Juan-Martin Del Potro‘s wins have come on a hardcourt, which has substance and means a great deal in this matchup. Two of Del Potro’s most significant of victories have come against the Spaniard. He absolutely demolished Nadal in the semi-final of the US Open in 2009, where Del Potro played one-sided, lights out tennis and he also beat Nadal in the semi-finals of the Olympics last year, in one of the battles of the season, where neither player deserved to come off the court second best.

Nadal struggled at the beginning of the tournament against Dusan Lajovic, Taro Daniel and Leonardo Mayer, but has grown into the event with straight-sets wins in his next two matches. Del Potro, on the other hand, had battled a virus and looked down and out against Dominic Thiem before turning the tables on the Austrian in the fifth set.

Del Potro boasts one of the incredibly explosive attacking games on tour, while Nadal is renowned for a terrific defensive game, where he can also switch to offence just as easily. It makes this match truly unpredictable, but compelling at the same time. Will Del Potro break through to make just his second Grand Slam final or will Nadal find a way to compete for a third US Open title? This match will have it all.

Prediction: Nadal in five sets

 

Kevin Anderson [28] vs Pablo Carreno Busta [12] H2H: Anderson leads 2-0

Kevin Anderson US Open 2017, Flushing Meadows, New York

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

Another semi-final where two players take to tennis in very different ways. Kevin Anderson looks for a big serve and forehand combination, but has shown vast improvement on his court coverage, particularly in defending on the backhand side. He moves very well for one of the big guys on tour.

Pablo Carreno Busta is the more consistent of the two and looks for his opponents to beat themselves through his solid play from the back of the court. The Spaniard is yet to drop a set this tournament, so he deserves his spot in his first ever major semi-final.

Both will be feeling on edge and anxious in an unknown situation, but I feel Anderson has been around the block and will be better equipped to qualify for his maiden major final.

Prediction: Anderson in five sets

The US Open men’s semi-finals start on Friday at 4pm (9pm BST).

Main Image:  Ella Ling/REX/Shutterstock 

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