Rafael Nadal v Kevin Anderson In The US Open Final, Who’s The Pick?
by Sean Randall | September 10th, 2017, 1:36 pm
  • 103 Comments

At the start of the tournament I picked Rafael Nadal to meet a tall guy in the US Open finals. Well, he’ll play a tall guy, but just not Alexander Zverev. Instead, it’s someone even taller in the 6-foot-8 Kevin Anderson.

And I had Zverev beating Nadal for the title, but I can’t do the same with Anderson.

Looking back at the semifinals, Nadal handled another big guy, Juan Martin Del Potro, who’s miles better than Anderson. Delpo hits bigger, moves better and has just as good of a serve. The only thing Anderson does better is maybe have more of a get-to-the-net mindset, which often doesn’t work against Rafa, especially so on a slow court.

Anderson also got exposed a little against Pablo Carreno Busta in that semifinal. The big South African looked awfully slow early on and was having trouble staying with Carreno Busta from the baseline.

Credit to Kevin, though, he worked his way back into the match and played much better down the stretch. But today is a totally different match.

Rafael Nadal v Kevin Anderson
The way to beat Rafa is to punish short balls, crush serves and be strong off the backhand. And even then you don’t always win like in the case of Delpo. Anderson has the arsenal, I just don’t think he’s mentally tough enough to do it nor do I think he has the quickness to pull it off.

That said, I fully expect Anderson to empty the bucket against Rafa. And that means just attacking on anything and everything because he’s not going win much from the back of the court.

Nadal is going to get Anderson on the move. And Anderson is no where near as fearsome off the ground as Delpo, so Rafa is going to feel like he can do what he wants off the ground and that’s never a good thing if you are trying to beat him. As I said before, this is a good court for Nadal and that should take some of the sting off the Anderson shots.

I also talked about pedigree yesterday. Anderson just doesn’t have it. He’s never been in a match this big. This isn’t Winston Salem or Johannesburg. And other than beating Andy Murray a few years ago in New York, there just haven’t been many big wins over big guys in Slams. Just many tough losses

That and his celebratory trip into the stands Friday after his semifinal win, tell me he has to be thrilled just to have made it this far.

Meanwhile, a loss here for Rafa would be a massive disappointment. He hasn’t won a hardcourt title since 2014 Doha and a win today would really give him a big lead in the No. 1 race. Plus a 16th Slam!

This is too good an opportunity to let slip. Then again, Anderson might never have this chance again. I think Anderson maybe gets a breaker, otherwise Rafa should roll here.
The Pick: Nadal in 4

Could we get an upset? I just don’t see it. But then again who saw Anderson getting to the final? Or Grigor Dimitrov winning Cincinnati? Or Pablo Carreno Busta in the semifinals? Or Sloane Stephens winning the women’s title.

These days, anything is possible.

ESPN will have the match at 4pm.


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103 Comments for Rafael Nadal v Kevin Anderson In The US Open Final, Who’s The Pick?

RZ Says:

“But then again who saw Anderson getting to the final? Or Grigor Dimitrov winning Cincinnati? Or Pablo Carreno Busta in the semifinals?”

Margot saw PCB getting to the semis! 😁


RZ Says:

I agree with Sean. I can see Anderson getting a set in a tiebreaker but don’t see how Nadal doesn’t win this.


J-Kath Says:

No Contest – Nadal in 3 or at the most 4 sets.


Willow Says:

Everyone is predicting an easy victory for Nadal, not me im still as nervous as hell, ive learned in life theres no such thing a foregone conclusion ….


Van orten Says:

Delpo’s bh was not strong enough v Rafa . In fact it was not that good v fed or thiem either but could not be exposed by them because his forehand was on. Nadal did a great job in constantly attacking th bh to finish the point with his forehand after a short ball. Anderson will be stronger from that wing rather sure
Hope he has one celebration in him after the semi
Good luck to both today


Margot Says:

Lol RZ, I did indeedy!
Give us a job Sean…..;)


AndyMira Says:

@Willow 2:32pm….Me too!!…Hey!btw if Rafa win,let’s do a virtual naked dancing around the fire together Will!!…Hehehehehawhawhaw!!


Willow Says:

AndyMira lol, sure and ill do one around my living room, and i will go to work in the morning tired but very happy ;-)


squirrel Says:

So excited for the final! Good luck to my dear AndyMira and Willow and other Rafa’s fans. I know you don’t want to be celebrating too early but I’m sure u’ve got nothing to worry about!


AndyMira Says:

Yeah Will!!..Hehehe…But it’s worth it!!…tired and sleepy i mean!…


Willow Says:

Thanks Squirrel for trying to ease my mind, still quietly petrified though lol ….


AndyMira Says:

Hey Bro Squirrel!!…Thank u for your comfort words!…We sure need it atm!…Yeah,hopefully you’re right Squirrel!


Willow Says:

AndyMira /Squirrel there were three women and a man at Autumn equinox only wearing a small pair of pants each, covered from head to toe in paint, they looked awesome lol ….


Daniel Says:

Nadal can’t break tow runs today: finally winning a HC title again and winning on pink!;-)

Won’t be able to watch the beginning, its checking scores. If it’s not a quick match, than maybe I can watch the end of it.


Giles Says:

Rafa not wearing pink, he’s wearing black!!


Pamela Says:

If Delpo had not been sick at the beginning of the week, had not played a sick Roger t2 days before and had Nadal not had the easiest draw Delpo could have very well beat Rafa. But, he was sick, and Rafa did have a very easy draw, so all the tennis Gods were looking out for Rafa this year. If he doesn’t win it will be a shocker


Humble Rafa Says:

There is no place to move back further from the baseline. US Open needs to working on that.


Daniel Says:

Match is over, if Nadal managed to prolong 7 games to 30 min and Anderson can’t hold easy and with 14 UE already, in sets 2 and 3 he will crash.


Daniel Says:

Not 7, 5 games.


Humble Rafa Says:

At this rate, it will take 2 hours to play one set, 2nd set – 20 minutes, 30 minutes – 10 mins


J-Kath Says:

….”a sick Roger”
….”a sick Delpo”
….”an easy draw”
Rafa – you naughty boy – you’d better withdraw as you evidently haven’t earned your place.


Daniel Says:

Anderson can play 3-4 points without making an UE. Maybe he’ll settle in second set. Nadal finally breaks, after 4 games on Anderson serve going to deuce.


Daniel Says:

And Anderson made 4 DF already, 1 per game.


Humble Rafa Says:

Should I repent now that I have not beaten any top players.


BBB Says:

Willow, I get it – when your guy is playing, you’re nervous no matter who’s on the other side of the net.

Commentators are right – Kevin should serve and volley to keep Rafa honest. Might be too late.


Yoda Says:

Nadal hiting sort ball after ball Kevin not steping in.
Of cource no need to play well when your oponent makes Df


Daniel Says:

Anderson is 7/23 in second serves point ones, 30%. And Anderson was’ able to get a single easy hold in 5 tries and unable to push Nadal to deuce. 23 UE. It’s a bad set. He started slow against PCB as well, but Nadal is not PCB, so next sets will be 6-2 and 6-1.


Daniel Says:

5 straight games to Nadal.


J-Kath Says:

Humble Rafa: Of course you must withdraw….it’s the decent thing to do.


Humble Rafa Says:

Z-Yath,

I will withdraw and get in line to get Skeezal blessing (unique blessing like the papal blessing).


James the 1st Says:

Rafa making up for lost time and opportunities due to injuries.
He doesn’t win hard court titles a lot these days. When he does, he makes sure it’s the biggest one. ;)


James the 1st Says:

The biggest improvement in Nadal’s game under coach Carlos Moya is the second serve. It’s so not attackable now. That’s something Andy Murray should have a loot at and work on.


James the 1st Says:

*look at


Humble Rafa Says:

coach Carlos Moya

No need to insult my uncle. Bag Carrier Moya does not become head coach until Uncle Toni retires at the end of the year.


Humble Rafa Says:

Only Humble can give you a 3 set match for 3 hours. More value for your money without too much stress for me.


J-Kath Says:

Do that Humble Rafa – but maybe sober up first.


Humble Rafa Says:

When you know who the winner is but have to win that last set to get the trophy..is such a pain.

#useless


Humble Rafa Says:

When you know who the winner is but have to win that last set to get the trophy..is such a pain.

#useless


Okiegal.... Says:

@JK…..If ifs and buts were candies and nuts it would be Christmas! Do you suppose naughty Nadal will get anything in his stocking this year??? lol


James the 1st Says:

Hey there Okiegal! How you’re doing?
I don’t know if you remember but I used to post a lot more often a few years ago under the moniker of ‘James’.
I don’t know if Brandon is still around on here.

It’s been such a great season for Rafa (and also Roger). I am so happy for both of them.


James the 1st Says:

With a victory at the US Open, I reckon Nadal shuts the door on Federer’s chances of ending the year at #1. It’s still a great season for Federer too irrespective of Nadal’s win at the Open.


J-Kath Says:

Okie: As long as it’s naughty and nice – perhaps a picture of himself licking the US Trophy; thumping his chest in front of a mirror and being embraced by a bevy of beautiful women…I’m remembering where I’m posting so I am being very discreet….the mind boggles!!!!!


Wog Boy Says:

Congratulations Rafa and fans, well done.


Giles Says:

Awesome Rafa. We’ll done Champ!
Sweet sixteen!!


jatin Says:

What a guy, what a champion. Simply a LEGEND.
Congrts Rafa for your 16th GS title and all of his fans out there. Willow, okiegal and every other true Rafa fan here, your guy did it.


Markus Says:

There it is, a third US Open for Nadal. Congratulations to Nadal and all his fans, every single one of them.


t4t Says:

Congrats to Rafans! Now Nadal has a good chance to grab year end #1 as well.


kjb Says:

Congrats Rafa fans! Great season for Rafa. If you told me at the start of the year that Fed and Rafa would win 2 slams each I would have slapped you in the face. Excited to see if he Fed can make it interesting for YE#1. He will definetely have to win Shanghai or Paris to have a shot.


Josh Says:

Wow, I’m shocked Rafa won with a cupcake draw and not beating any top ranked player. Can @Skeezer chime in on this?


Wog Boy Says:

Anderson’s wife is stunning,


jatin Says:

Its crazy to think but rafa would have tied Fed today in slam count had Fed didn’t brought back his new found game and confidence and yes that unbelievable comeback in Aus open final ( down 3-1 in the 5th).
Its a year of FEDAL (2-2) and one we all fans will remember for AGES to come. WTF final between the two is the last thing I wish for before this EPIC year ends.


Vince Says:

It’s funny that Nadal = Murray + Nole in USO

First hard court title since 2014..In a slam

Vamos Rafa..


Wog Boy Says:

I think it is more funny that Nole = Roger + Rafa at AO;)


Markus Says:

All finalists at this year’s US Open came back after taking time off because of injuries. Great examples for everybody sidelined by injuries.


RZ Says:

Congrats to Rafa and his fans here on #16!
And congrats to Blurop/Ryan on winning the U.S. Open Racquet Bracket


RZ Says:

I posted this earlier, but it so fits after this year’s grand slams.
https://twitter.com/FortyDeuceTwits/status/885188835050758144


t4t Says:

Although Nadal was given a tough draw unlike Fed for whom a cupcake was carefully chosen, he ended up getting a cakewalk thanks to all the big names falling by the wayside.
However skeezer and co can’t really say anything because he beat two seeded players, imagine that! Two seeded players! And both legit seeded not like the number 33 which doesn’t exist!


BBB Says:

Congrats Rafa. I really thought his knees had him done for a couple of years ago and that he’d never win anything else. Good for him for listening to his camp and adding Moya to the mix.


Okiegal.... Says:

@JK…..hubba hubba!!! Lol

@WogBoy……Thank you so much! Who’d a thunk it???? I hope your guy is back in the mix very soon!


Humble Rafa Says:

Thanks everyone for the wishes. It has been an amazing year. 10 of this, 10 of that and to cap it off with this is great.

Also, a great send off to my great uncle Toni


Wog Boy Says:

HR,

Stay focused and try to cap the season with WTF, no?


t4t Says:

If Fed is healthy he has a big chance to end the year at #1 and equal Sampras record of 6 year end #1s. Without Djokovic and Murray, Fed is the favorite for the rest of the events this year. But not sure his 36 year old body can sustain the high level required for this.


Wog Boy Says:

Okie,
My pleasure.
I don’t have high hopes for Nole, hope he proves me wrong though.


Madmax Says:

It’s wonderful. Congratulations and celebrations to you willow and Oki. It came as no surprise whatsoever. Enjoy the afterglow. Did you enjoy the match? Did you hide at any point?


Daniel Says:

Congrats Nadal, 16th Major and the finally breaking the HC course. 4th time winning more than 1 major a year and cementing for good his status as second best player of all time, he is head and shoulders above Sampras and Djoko now.

As for #1 James the 1st, only 1800 pts above Federer. Yes, he gave a huge step as both have 2 Slams, 2 Masters (but Nadal has neater major final). But remember that after RG Nadal was 3000 pts above Federer and after Montreal Fed was just 220 pts behind.

So far after RG:

- Federer: 500 Halle + 2000 Wimby + 600 Canada + 360 USO = 3460 pts
- Nadal: 180 Wimby + 90 Canda + 180 Cincy + 2000 USO = 2450 pts.

There is still 4000 pts for each (Beijing / Shangai / Paris / WTF for Nadal) and Shagai / Base / Paris / WTF for Federer.

Shangai is going to be pivotal, If Federer doesn’t win it, the race is pretty much over. Unless Nadal loses really early in all tourney he plays including WTF. Only way for this to happen is if he is gassed out.


Okiegal.... Says:

@James the 1st…..Yes I do remember you. Why did you stay away so long?? Welcome back! I forgot about Brandon but do remember Brando…….There are a few missing now days. I’m happy for Rafa and Roger…..they’re oldies but goodies!! Need I say more?? Get to posting again…..always enjoyed your comments! Thanks!!


Madmax Says:

T4t why spoil this?; your mission?


Okiegal.... Says:

Thanks Madmax! Your guy and my guy have had a great at year!!


Rick Says:

Daniel. Second best your arse. This housewife only played for a few months this year, wanted the year end number 1? Only in her dreams!


t4t Says:

So 2017 ends with Fed and Nadal having the same difference in slam counts as they have had since 2014. But having more slams doesn’t make Fed the greatest player or Nadal the second best player. The debate for GOAT has been revived! And Djokovic will enter it again next year!


Markus Says:

Okie, by this time, you must no longer be in that place which prevents you from saying anything racy, so congaratulations on Nadal’s US Ooen win. Don’t you mike how he groomed himself proor to the awards ceremony? Big hearted too, offering commiserations to the people of Mexico devastated by an earthquake. How can you not be proud of him. Got to mention also the oft suffering Willow. Great year, ha! Yes, Andy Mira, too, of course, all 4 of you my Rafàn friends. And to my Rafan enemies, Giles and HR, you deserve my congratulations, big diehard faithful do-or die Rafa fzns that you are. Cheers!


Markus Says:

Mike is like, proor is prior.


Tennis realist Says:

First of all congrats to all Rafa fans and my message to Nole fans not to be much worried about Since Nole is a champion , he will be back with bang. As a Rafa fan i’ve learned to respect Nole for what he has acheived in toughest era of Tennis.2 more slams and people will start questioning “GOAT” claim of Federer since most of his slams were against weak era mugs and his 9-3 against Rafa in slams, not defeating Rafa for 10 years in slams are one of biggest blot on his goathood. Nadal should rest till world tour finals and prepare for next year. He has won enough masters.


t4t Says:

Federer tanked his QF so as not to widen the h2h with Nadal. I think he will keep playing as long as he has a chance to play well and narrow the gap. He knows the h2h is the biggest counter argument for his GOAT status claim. So he will skip the clay season and strategically tank some matches to avoid meeting Nadal when the latter is playing well.


Rick Says:

Lazy housewife won’t achieve her dreams for being lazy and pretending injury.


AndyMira Says:

@Markus!!…hahaha..thank u for your sweet & honest words!!…And we rafans[okie,willow,me]…are very honoured to have an amazing Fedfan like u to be our friend,right guys??OH!…good luck to u & Rog for the rest of the season k?To tell u the truth,i don’t care much who’s got The YE#1…who’s got it,they’re truly deserve it..whether rafa or Roger…

Also wanna give a million thanks for the congrats that bombarded our way…Thank u so much guys!!


AndyMira Says:

Agree with Tennis realist…I can’t help but think that after seeing Roger & Rafa dominated this year & collect silverware everywhere will spurned the ‘killer instinct’back in Novak especially….and Andy too…my guts tells me,these 2 will make their presence known once again next year…and Stan of coz…And rightly so…and as we’ve seen in Rafa & Rog..NEVER,EVER WRITE OFF GREAT CHAMPIONS!!…That’s for sure!!


Vince Says:

t4t, I tend to think that way too. That’s the reason for Roger to play full winter schedule as well.. to reduce the h2h


t4t Says:

Where’s skeezer? Weeping?


Okiegal.... Says:

@Wog Boy…..TBH with you, I was not sure Rafa could win another HC but he proved me wrong……again! Don’t worry…..Novak will return as strong as ever… trust me I am a BELIEVER in passionate tennis champions!!


Okiegal.... Says:

@Markus….What a sweet comment directed to me at 8:01!! I’m as pleased as punch with number 16! WOWZER….I’m just over the moon! Going into the last slam of the year I just wasn’t sure Rafa could do it ……being HC and all but I was badly mistaken! He is a warrior and never gives up! Roger and Rafa are two amazing athletes who respect each other very much. Wasn’t in the stars for us to see a Fedal match… but maybe soon!! Yeppers he did groom himself…….heck you gotta look good to accept $3.7 million bucks!! Thank you for the congrats!!


Okiegal.... Says:

@Willow….Yipperdy Skipperdy!
@AM……..Vamos!!
@Giles…..Yes 16 is mighty sweet!


Wog Boy Says:

Does anybody remember TX poll who is going to win USO?;)


AndyMira Says:

@Okie!!…Aa’..there u r Boss!!hehe…Hey Markus!…U no need to worry about how Rafa groomed himself..His Mama Bear here groomed herself for 1 hour[brushed,sprayed & mess it back when hair still not right!haha]..and after that…Church!here i comes!!…Urgh!..talking about the apple not fallin’ far from the trees!!hehe…


Okiegal.... Says:

@BBB….. Thanks for the congrats!! You are right….Moya has been a plus for the Rafa camp!!


Okiegal.... Says:

@Mira….u so crezzzy!! I channeled Rafa and told him to look as nice as possible when he collected the hardware and the moolah!! Lol


BBB Says:

Okie – Tennis Vagabond’s analysis was spot on. While it seemed like Rafa would struggle on HC, TV pointed out a few days ago that his record on hard courts this year was actually very good.


AndyMira Says:

Okie!…..Hahahahahahahahahaha!!….I want to teased u since this mornin’ when u said “I gotta fix my hair before i go to church”!…and i imagined with my creative mind that u stand in front of the mirror and spit onto your hand and carefully brushed it repeatedly…just like Rafa did after every match…Oh!like mama bear like baby bear!!Hehehehe…


Okiegal.... Says:

@Wog Boy 7:36………I wish!!!


chrisford1 Says:

Congrats to all the Rafa fans. And even more so to “Fedal” which really hasn’t existed since 2009. Dominant Rafa ended Fedal, then Djokovic more or less had the better of both guys until mid-2016 when Djoker was burned out, injured, facing a marital existential crisis – or all three.. The #1 Andy was to have his reign, but Andy being Andy, he couldn’t keep his end of 2016 form going, then had his season ending woes.
Now, Against all Odds, Fedal has come back. And Rafa may only get 1/5th the media spotlight and fan worship Roger does but winning the USO, French Open, Australia Open RUP?? Pretty darn good year! And his hair plugs taking root and Xisca still waiting patiently – more icing on the cake.

Rafael Nadal, the all surface champion, more than a clay court player. Now 2nd all time with 16 Slams. A gold medal in singles and in doubles. 4 Davis Cups with talented players like David Ferrer and Feliciano Lopez also on the team/

Rafa Nada – GREAT CHAMPION.


Okiegal.... Says:

@BBB……I remember reading that post……when I think of Rafa and his accomplishments……may mind always wonders to clay……But as of today he now has 4 hard court slam titles…..2 grass and 10 clay! WOWZER!! He’s amazing!!


Okiegal.... Says:

@chrisford1……Thanks and great post!


Humble Rafa Says:

Where’s skeezer? Weeping?

One of his cats is sick. He is at the vet.


Humble Rafa Says:

Making the simple assumption that I win next year’s FO, How quickly can I make it to 19?


Okiegal.... Says:

@jatin…..Thanks for the congrats!! Rafa has had a great year!! I’m so happy!


Okiegal.... Says:

@Mira……My hair looked awful today……Rafa’s looked better than mine! It’s time for me to get the bottle of bleach out……as I have discovered blondes have more fun…….lol. 👩🏼‍⚕️👩🏼‍⚕️


Kimberly Says:

Hi all missed the match due to hurricane Irma but glad Rafa won. We evacuated Miami to Orlando where we are still getting the storm but less dangers. In a hotel waitingnit out. Only one week ago I was at the us open watching Rafa play Leonardo Mayer, roger play lopez, coco play radwanska, pliskikova play Shang. Was an amazing day of tennis but returned home to a lot of unpleasantness . Was evacuated the first day! And obviously didn’t drive far enough! So after the first week I missed the whole tournament but glad my guy won!


AndyMira Says:

Miss Jan!!….Your hair and the rest of u are already AMAZING!!…Hey!!Will u marry me??I think i’m in love with u!!…hehehehe….Yeah yeah i know!…U sooooo crezzzzyyyy!!…hahahaha..


chrisford1 Says:

All that is left for Rafa’s bucket list is Miami, Paris-Bercy, and the HUGE last thing – a WTF trophy.
He knows that Djokovic will not bedevil him until 2018. The true NextGen, led by Zverev, Kyrgios, and Thiem, 3-4 others – has not yet fully arrived.
We know Rafa just hates indoors, has a miserable record there. But maybe he has to be reminded Fed will be his main rival at Bercy and London – that and young pup upsets if he lets his guard down.
Focus! Focus! Focus!
“And stay hungry my friend! Stay hungry!”


Margot Says:

Kimberly, glad you and your family are safe.
Horrible and scary.


Willow Says:

Markus the suffering Willow ha ha thanks ….


Okiegal Says:

@Kimberly….So glad you are safe! I hope Irma runs out of steam!The hurricane season is horrible this year. Happy you got to see some matches. Seeing Rafa in the flesh is number one on my bucket list. Might go to Miami…..my good friends that I go on trips with mentioned Miami 2018!! I’m excited about the possibility of that happening! Take care!


J-Kath Says:

Kimberely: Keep safe you and yours – and everyone going thru such a nightmare.


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