US Open 2017: Superb Kevin Anderson reaches first Grand Slam final

Kevin Anderson of South Africa reacts during his US Open semi-final against Pablo Carreno Busta

On Saturday morning (SA time), the South African sporting community had a rare opportunity to get excited about tennis when Kevin Anderson progressed to the final of the US Open.

"More important, have given myself a shot at being in the finals and, you know, I will be playing for a Grand Slam trophy".

Kevin Anderson became the first South African to reach the US Open final in the Open era and his reward is a match against world No1 Rafael Nadal on Sunday in NY.

He will face world number one Rafael Nadal or 24th seed Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina in Sunday's final.

The 6ft 8in Anderson needed some inspiration and he found it with a backhand cross-court victor that brought him level at one set all.

Two games later Anderson saved a pair of set points, but a third was quickly snatched up by Carreno Busta as a serve out wide was returned into the net. Against veteran Paolo Lorenzi, he dropped a set in the tie-break before recovering to win 6-4 in the fourth set.

It was a string of six straight service holds which followed before Carreno Busta served to stay in the set at 5-6 down. I really had to dig deep, I think my emotion at the end summed it up.

"It was an unbelievably tough match on one of the biggest stages in tennis".

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He will bid to go one better than Curren, who was runner-up at the 1984 Australian Open final before switching citizenship to the United States ahead of his run to the Wimbledon final.

A former player at the University of Illinois, Anderson took that chance.

"I want to say it's a fantastic feeling, but at the same time I feel like I want to keep going in this tournament", Anderson said.

The momentum quickly changed in the second, however, a scorching forehand giving Anderson the break, only for Carreno Busta to hit straight back with a fine forehand down the line.

The Spaniard earned the only break in the first set in the seventh game and took the first set in 34 minutes, 6-4. He thanked his family for their support after his win on Friday, with brother Greg getting a special mention for nurturing his Grand Slam dream from a young age.

However, Anderson was just too solid as it soon became a one-way traffic, claiming the next three games to open up a huge 4-1 lead. The Spaniard did, after all, get very shaky in losing early in the tournament here in the last two years against opposition he was expected to beat, and he has so far had a comfortable draw. "I mean, Rafa now is playing within himself a lot".

'If he's in the final, he can beat everyone.

"Ultimately, such a sacrifice would compromise my results and any hope of competitive representation for South Africa at Grand Slam tournaments". You know, his serve, he's been serving very well, it looks like.

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