US Open 2017: Rafael Nadal vs Kevin Anderson — As it happened...

The final lasted two and half hours, which is the longest for a straight sets win in a US Open final. After a nearly hour long first set, Nadal shut the door on Kevin Anderson with a disciplined performance, expected from a top player. He beat Anderson 6-3, 6-3, 6-4.

By Zee Media Bureau | Last Updated: Sep 11, 2017, 05:42 AM IST
US Open 2017: Rafael Nadal vs Kevin Anderson — As it happened...
Courtesy: Twitter (@usopen)

At the age of 31, Nadal now has 16 Major titles and is only three behind his enternal rival Roger Federer. Fighting to stay relevant amidst injury concerns, the Spaniard won his second Slam of the year after his 10th French Open crown in June with a virtuoso performance.

ALSO READ: US Open final report

The final lasted two and half hours, which is the longest for a straight sets win in a US Open final. After a nearly hour long first set, Nadal shut the door on Kevin Anderson with a disciplined performance, expected from a top player.

He beat Anderson 6-3, 6-3, 6-4.

This is his third title at the Flushing Meadows.

 

Seeded 28th, Anderson was looking to recreate history. But comning with only one weapon, that of his huge services, against an all-time great is little underwhelming.

Same age with Rafa, Anderson was playing in first ever Grand Slam singles final. And he could have done more, showed little more agression, or stayed little longer sin the match.

He committed as many as 40 unforced errors against Nadal's 11. His superior service game was rendered useless by a brilliant deep playing player who is known for playing that one extra shot more.

All in all, it was a final between an legend who is even more hungrier and a tour journeyman who could have one the willpower but limited of recources. 


THIRD SET: Kevin Anderson 4 - 6 Rafael Nadal


4:25 AM IST: Kevin Anderson 4 - 6 Rafael Nadal* (* server)

Huge applause as Nadal prepared to serve for the title.

Missed the T on his first serve. Despite all the distractions including a howl from one over enthusiastic fans, Nadal managed to keep his second serve in play. Then, Anderson did the rest by committing yet another unforced error.

But Rafa returned the favour with a forehand unforced error. Then, the South Africa played a horrible looking smash shot, which went long. Nadal tow longs away from the title.

Anderson stayed alive with backhand volley winner. 30-30. Anderson then committed a backhand unforced error to give Nadal the Championship point. 40-30.

Anderson forced Nadal to commit a forehand error. Duece.

Almost an ace. Match point number two.

Slice serve, and Rafa produced a backhand volley winner on the return.

Rafa is the champion, again.


04:17 AM IST: *Kevin Anderson 4 - 5 Rafael Nadal (* server)

Nadal won the first point of the ninth game with Anderson making a mess of his backhand return. The big South African however responded with an ace. 15-15. Nadal then worked his reply into the net. Anderson won the game with a huge ace.

Nadal still needs four points to win the title.


04:14 AM IST: Kevin Anderson 3 - 5 Rafael Nadal* (* server)

This is make or break game for Anderson. But Nadal's no mood of conceding even an inch. Raced to 40-0, with Anderson committing series of unforced errors. Yes, Anderson gifted the game with forehand unforced error.

Nadal now needs four points to win the title.


04:10 AM IST: *Kevin Anderson 3 - 4 Rafael Nadal (* server)

Anderson started well to take a 401-5 lead, but Nadal fought back to make it 40-30. Then, Nadal send his backhand long. Game to Anderson.


04:06 AM IST: Kevin Anderson 2 - 4 Rafael Nadal* (* server)

Nadal continued to make mistakes. The fifth game was won by Anderson mainly thanks to Nadal's error. And the world number one started the sixth game with a forehand unforced error. Anderson then returned the favour with his own backhand unforced error. Pity. He's running out of time, and still committing these mistakes.

Nadal,then, as expected produced a winner, this time with a forehand volley. It was followed by a backhand volley. Majestic. But Nadal hooked his return on next play on the net. 40-30.

Whatever happened, he needed no worries as Anderson's there. Lame! Forced backhand error from the South African and game to Nadal.


03:59 AM IST: *Kevin Anderson 2 - 3 Rafael Nadal (* server)

Rafa went wide and hurried on a forehand shot. First point of game 5 to Anderson. Easy one for the South African. A series of errors from Nadal, and Anderson won at love. What's happening?


03:57 AM IST: Kevin Anderson 1 - 3 Rafael Nadal* (* server)

Now the question for Anderson is, how to break Rafa?

Rafa started the game 4 with a brilliant forehand volley. He is so confident. On second serve, he set up Anderson and approached to play one of his today's high return shots.

Soon, it became 40-0. But he committed a DOUBLE FAULT, his first today. And he smirked. Anderson not amused. Nadal then committed a forehand error, sending long. His ninth of the match, and two in a row. 40-30.

Anderson gifted the game with a long forehand shot. And we have reached the two-hour mark in this match.


03:51 AM IST: *Kevin Anderson 1 - 2 Rafael Nadal (* server)

One decent rally, in fact effort from Anderson, after a long time. But the point still went to Nadal. But he's not giving up yet. It was followed by a long rally, with Anderson playing a drop shot with emaculate placement. Nadal failed to retrieve.

An ace to make it 40-15. Ace number 8th for the South African. Anderson hold, thanks to a Nadal forehand unforced error.


03:48 AM IST: Kevin Anderson 0 - 2 Rafael Nadal* (* server)

Wow! Anderson started the next game, punishing Nadal with a killer backhand winner. Nadal, serving to consolidated the break that he had just won, failed to read the return. Then again, Anderson has a huge baggage of unforced error. 15-15.

The South African compounded his own woes with another forehand unforced error. A late call long, challenged by Anderson. But it was Nadal's game. Easy hold.


03:44 AM IST: *Kevin Anderson 0 - 1 Rafael Nadal (* server)

Anderson resumed the proceedings with good serve, forcing Nadal to commit a forehand return error. But he soon lost the plot, fending off a deuce. Then, he played the catch up after a forehand unforced error. Advantage Nadal. That was Anderson's 30th unforced error. It was followed by another unforced error, crashing into the right corner. Nadal broke Anderson. It's turning out to be an one-sided affair.



SECOND SET: Kevin Anderson 3 - 6 Rafael Nadal


03:35 AM IST: Kevin Anderson 3 - 6 Rafael Nadal* (* server)

Serving for the second set, Nadal forced an error to Anderson. It wa followed by a forehand volley winner. On the T, and set point. Finished, with a forehand winner. Easy for Nadal. Won the second set in 39 minutes.


03:33 AM IST: *Kevin Anderson 3 - 5 Rafael Nadal (* server)

Serving to stay in the match, Anderson failed to keep Nadal's return in play. Backhand unforced error. But the South African produced a timely forehand winner to make it 15-15. That's terrific Nadal. Anderson failed to find the placement on Nadal's forehand, and the Spaniard replied with a scorching winner.

But Nadal was at fault in the next rally. His forehand was always going long. Rafa then committed another forehand mistake, sending in into the net. Amderson sent his first serve wide and long. But he held the serve as Nadal's return on the second serve crashed into the net.


03:27 AM IST: Kevin Anderson 2 - 5 Rafael Nadal* (* server)

A backhand forced error from Nadal to start the game 7. But he soon recovered by forcing an unforced error to Anderson. Rafa showed his resilience and agility to win the next point, but thanks to a mistake from Anderson. At the end, it turned out to be just another service game for Nadal. Easy hold.


03:24 AM IST: *Kevin Anderson 2 - 4 Rafael Nadal (* server)

What a point. Nadal produced aforehand smash winner to take 15-0 lead. Rafa then played a forehand cross-court winner on the far sight to take 30-0 lead. His approaches today have been brilliant.

Anderson played a backhand volley to break the flow of Nadal's points. The South African however failed to match Nadal's guile, losing the next point with a forehand unforced error. Break point to Nadal.

The world number himself committed an unforced error, to his own disbelief. Rafa broke Anderson with a forehand smash winner. A series of volloys, then than smashing winner. First break in the 27th minute of the set.


03:17 AM IST: Kevin Anderson 2 - 3 Rafael Nadal* (* server)

First ace for Nadal. Challenge from Anderson, but it's good. Anderson then committed a forehand error. Nadal produced a good service, then Anderson lost the next point. Love hold for Nadal.


03:14 AM IST: *Kevin Anderson 2 - 2 Rafael Nadal (* server)

Huge serve to start the game 4. Nadal failed to keep Anderson's serve. Another huge serve. Nadal even challenged the call, but he had failed to keep the ball in play, again. But Nadal won the next point with a angled cross court backhand winner.

Anderson won the next point as Nadal committed a backhand error on baseline rally. On second serve, Anderson managed to forced Nadal into committing another forehand error. Easy hold, realtively for him.


03:09 AM IST: Kevin Anderson 1 - 2 Rafael Nadal* (* server)

One tough hold for Nadal one would say with Anderson ironing out his errors. Or it seemed. But Nadal won it, eventually, with an Anderson unforced error.


03:05 AM IST: *Kevin Anderson 1 - 1 Rafael Nadal (* server)

Anderson followed it his good service with a well executed forehand winner. Nadal won the next point with a delectable forehand winner.  Anderson responded with a volley to take 30-15 lead. An ace to Nadal's forehand corner. Second serve and Nadal sends the return intot the net. His backhand the culprit. One of the easier holds for Anderson.


03:01 AM IST: Kevin Anderson 0 - 1 Rafael Nadal* (* server)

Rafa resumed the proceedings with a good service. In the ensuing rally, he forced Anderson to commit a backhand error. He soon wraped it up with a love game.



FIRST SET: Kevin Anderson 3 - 6 Rafael Nadal


02:56 AM IST: *Kevin Anderson 3 - 6 Rafael Nadal (* server)

Change of racquet for Anderson, as he served to stay in the set. Anderson committed yet another forehand unforced error, then Nadal , on approach, produced a brillaint backhand winner. Anderson won the next point with a forehand winner. Good serve from Anderso, to set up another forehand winner. No response from Nadal this time. His backhand return was too weak.

Nadal then committed a rare forehand error, sending it long. But he made up with a backhand cross court winner to force a duece. What a poor game. Anderson sent his forehand on Nadal's return long. Set point to Nadal.

And Nadal did it with a brilliant backhand volley. What a point to wrap up this very long, 58 minute long set.


02:50 AM IST: Kevin Anderson 3 - 5 Rafael Nadal* (* server)

Serving to consloidate the break, Nadal forced Anderson to commit a backhand error. But Anderson responded with a backhand drop shot winner. Nadal won the next point. Too long a return from Anderson.

A long rally, only to see Anderson sending his forehand long again. 40-15 to Nadal. Anderson committed another backhand error, sending the ball into the alley. That's his 22nd error of the set. Huge.


02:45 AM IST: *Kevin Anderson 3 - 4 Rafael Nadal (* server)

Ambitious. Anderson tried playing serve and volley, but ended up losing the point. Crosscourt forehand volley from the tall man. What a sight. 15-15. On second serve, Anderson forced Nadal to his line, and the South African ended the rally with a brilliantly constructed forehand winner.

But Anderson opted a wrong shot, hurriedly going for a volley. And it crashed into the net. As good as any other ace. Nadal just about managed to get a faint touch on Anderson T hitting serve. Anderson then play a bad shot, on forehand. It's been bad shot, good shot, bad shot for him.

Then another double fault. Break point for Nadal. Oh... Anderson misses his forehand his crosscourt shot on the opposite alley. Nadal broke Anderson.


02:39 AM IST: Kevin Anderson 3 - 3 Rafael Nadal* (* server)

Unlike yesterday's women's singles final, this one is likely to test the stamina and all. It's already 35 minutes and only five games complted. Yesterday, the match was over in 61 minutes.

Anderson sent his backhand return wide at the far right corner, making it his 16th unforced error. And there were three double faults too. Yea, Nadal too can continue playing average tennis. Unforced error backhand. Then, Anderson produced Nadal like forehand winner to take 30-15 lead against the server.

Anderon sent his return long. It was followed by a backhand forced error. And Nadal set up a volley with a slice serve. Easy hold.


02:33 AM IST: * Kevin Anderson 3 - 2 Rafael Nadal (* server)

Two brilliant rallies with both players sharing the spoils. Anderson then produced a delicate volley on Nadal's forehand. Nadal responded with class forehand to make it 30-30.

A long rally ensued, then Anderson sent his forehand cross court shot long. Break point to Nadal. The Spaniard failed to break, sending his erratic forehand long. Anderson then committed another double fault, to give Nadal second break point in the game. He challenged but that's frustration coming out.

Nadal then challenged an Ace. Wasted. Well don Kevin to force another duece. Body serve, and Nadal sent the ball towards the right alley. Advantage Anderson. On second serve, Anderson managed to keep Nadal tight and sincere with a climbing ball. Nadal challenged an on line call on Anderson's perported winner. Nadal won, and duece. Anderson responded with an Ace, his fifth.

Back to deuce. Anderson sent his return long. His body is built to play inside out shots. But there is ace. And on advantage, lost his control. Sent his volley long. Off-balanced. Deuce.

Nadal sent his forehand return into the net. And Anderson closed out the game finally with a forehand volley. Risky, but on serve now.


02:23 AM IST: Kevin Anderson 2 - 2 Rafael Nadal* (* server)

Slice serve from Nadal, which Anderson failed to keep in play. Another backhand error from Anderson. Nadal continued to employ his slice serves. Easy hold of serve, at love. 


02:18 AM IST: *Kevin Anderson 2 - 1 Rafael Nadal (* server)

Anderson started with a booming serivce, which Nadal failed to keep in play from his backhand. The South African then sent his forehand long as Nadal redied himself for a rally. Then, the first double fault of the match from Anderson. Nadal lost the next point, crashing his forehand into the net.

A long rally, first big one today. Nadal was seen employing his backhand slices,  but the Spaniard lost the point. Anderson failed to close out the game, a duece. Then, Nadal produced a brilliant backhand winner for the first break point of the match.

Anderson, on his second serve, almost missed the line. Lucky him, Nadal crashed his forehand into the net again. Second DEUCE. Anderson committed another backhand error to give Nadal second break point. Back to deuce with a forehand winner, then a HUGE ACE on the backhand side of Nadal. Late call from the umpire, but it returned "on the line". Probably, HAWK-EYE picked up the long mark.

Unforced error from Nadal as another deuce ensued. Nadal played a horrendous backhand slice, with the ball into the net. Advantage Anderson. WOW. Double fault. Second of the game. Duece, FIFTH. It was followed by baseline slugfest with Amderson carving the perfect angle to win the rally with a backhand winner.

Duece number SIX as Anderson committed another forehand unforced error. Similar crime from Nadal. Another DEUCE.

Anderson finally managed to win the game thanks to back-to-back Nadal forehand unforced errors.


02:06 AM IST: Kevin Anderson 1 - 1 Rafael Nadal* (* server)

Both the players committed 'big' forehand errors, andat 15-15, Anderson committed another unforced error, this time from his backhand. Nadal sure was taking time, long time during his serves. Another good second serve from the world number one. Anderson failed to keep his return in play. And Anderson sent his forehard return long. Game. Poor service game for Nadal. Slow start from favourite.


02:03 AM IST: *Kevin Anderson 1 - 0 Rafael Nadal (* server)

Testing times for Kevin Anderson. He is a big server but Rafael Nadal is one of the greatest returners. On duece, Anderson needed an ace to close out the first game of the final.


1:55 AM IST: Anderson sure benefitted from an open US Open draw, in the absence Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. But he survived tough outings against the likes of Sam Querrey and Pablo Carreno Busta. The samew can be said for Nadal, until he met Del Potro. Here are the roads to the final for both the finalists:

Kevin Anderson

R1: 6-3 6-3 6-1 Aragone
R2: 6-3 7-5 6-4 Gulbis
R3: 6-4 6-3 6-2 Coric
R4: 6-4 6-3 6-7 6-4 Lorenzi
QF: 7-6 6-7 6-3 7-6 Querrey
SF: 4-6 7-5 6-3 6-4 Carreno Busta

Rafael Nadal

R1: 7-6 6-2 6-2 Lajovic
R2: 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-2 Daniel
R3: 6-7 6-3 6-1 6-4 Mayer
R4: 6-2 6-4 6-1 Dolgopolov
QF: 6-1 6-2 6-2 Rublev
SF: 5-7 6-0 6-3 6-2 Del Potro


1:50 AM IST: Players are already on the Arthur Ashe court.


1:41 AM IST: The Big Four has won 45 of the last 50 major singles titles. Today, Anderson is trying to become the fourth member of a ban, which already has Stan Wawrinka, Juan Martin del Potro and Marin Cilic, which is ready to take some shine of the Big Four.


1:37 AM IST: Here's one viral photo doing the rounds ahead of the final. Just adorable

Today's finalists have played against each other in an international junior event.


1:30 AM IST: Here's what Nadal said about Anderson: "He's a tough opponent I need to be ready for." Anderson was cautious, and said: "If you let him control the court it's going to very difficult."


1:26 AM IST: Minutes into the start of the match, and here's the head-to-head record for US Open men`s finalists Nadal and Anderson.

Read as: Year/Event/Surface/Round/Winner/Score

2017/Barcelona/Clay/R16/Nadal/6-3, 6-4
2015/Paris/Hard/R16/Nadal/4-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-2
2015/Australian Open/Hard/R16/Nadal/7-5, 6-1, 6-4
2010/Toronto/Hard/R16/Nadal/6-2, 7-6 (8/6)

Nadal leads 4-0


01:15 AM IST: A little while ago, Swiss star Martina Hingis captured her second US Open doubles title in as many days, partnering with Taiwan`s Chan Yung-Jan to win the women`s doubles crown. It's Hingis' 25th career Grand Slam title overall and her third of the year.


01:10 AM IST: Call it whatever, Nadal has not faced a Top 20 opponent at the US Open and the last Grand Slam tournament champion to do that was Pete Sampras at 2000 Wimbledon. Will it help his cause?

But what we know of his opponent is, Anderson has sa killer service. The South African has fired 114 aces and has been broken just five times in 108 service games. He has also unleashed the tournament`s third fastest serve of 137 mph (220.4km/h).


00:47 AM IST: Tonight's champion will be the fifth straight Grand Slam winner who is 30 and over going back to last year`s US Open where Stan Wawrinka (31) captured the title. Since then, Roger Federer (35) won the Australian Open and Wimbledon, and Nadal (31) earned the Roland Garros crown.


00: 35 AM IST: And if he beats Nadal, the South African will become the the lowest-ranked Grand Slam champion since No. 44 Gaston Gaudio at the 2004 French Open.


00:25 AM IST: Anderson is the first South African to reach the US Open final in the Open Era. Anderson is the lowest-ranked US Open finalist since the inception of the rankings in 1973.

He is also the lowest-ranked US Open finalist since the inception of the rankings in 1973. The previous lowest-ranked US Open finalist was No. 22 Mark Philippoussis in 1998 when he lost to Australian compatriot Pat Rafter.

By the way, Andre Agassi, ranked 20th, is the lowest-ranked US Open champion in 1994.


00:15 AM IST: For Nadal, this is the first time since 211 that he has reached three Slam finals. He lost the Roger Federer in the Australian Open final, but won his 10th French Open crown in June. But again, he has hasn`t won multiple Slams in a season since 2013.

Here's that moment when he booked the final ticket

The 31-year-old Spaniard is the overwhelming favourite.


World number one Rafael Nadal can wrap up a 16th Grand Slam title and third at the US Open tonight. But for that he will to beat South Africa`s Kevin Anderson, who has impressed many with his unbreakable spirit. He is the first South African in 52 years to reach the US Open final.

Nadal powered into his 23rd career Grand Slam final, routing Argentina`s 24th-seeded Juan Martin del Potro 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, 6-2 in the semis, while Anderson downed Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4.

Read full preview HERE

The 31-year-old Spanish lefthander is seeking his third US Open crown after 2010 and 2013 and a 16th career Slam title. But for the 28th-seeded Anderson, this is his first Grand Slam final. The Spaniard will start as the favourite, but the the South African, satnding at 6ft 8in (2.02m) can trouble Nadal with his big serves.

Here's how you can WATCH the match online

Nadal`s 73 career titles also dwarf Anderson`s modest three.


New Delhi: Welcome to our live coverage of US Open 2017, Men's Singles final between Rafael Nadal and Kevin Anderson, being played at Flushing Meadows.