Sport

Anderson reaches US Open final

Anderson reaches US Open final”

- South African Kevin Anderson on his celebration after beating Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 4-6 7-5 6-3 6-4.

The victor faces No. 28 seed Kevin Anderson on Sunday.

But No.28 seed Anderson, behind his strong serve and powerful forehand, controlled matters thereafter, triumphing to become the first South African to reach the final in NY in the Open era.

Not since Kevin Curren made the 1985 Wimbledon final - he was a joint US and South African citizen - has the country had someone making it this far at one of the sport's biggest tournaments, and he was supported by Major-winning golfers Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen in the Arthur Ashe Stadium. With neither of them able to find any more breakthroughs on the return, Carreno Busta ultimately served out the first set 6-4 after 33 minutes of play. In 2002, she participated in three Grand Slam finals, losing each to her younger sister Serena. The Spaniard has not been pushed past four sets in the tournament and has dropped just three sets en route to the final.

"I feel like it allows me to play better tennis", Anderson said.

Anderson was soon 5-4 ahead, hitting his 100th ace of the tournament in the process before leveling the tie in the 12th game courtesy of a Carreno Busta double fault and a fierce backhand victor.

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Carreno Busta's serve was the first to come under any kind of pressure in the sixth game of the match, but he held from 30-30 before striking what proved the decisive blow in the opener as Anderson fired a backhand long to hand him the break.

The 26-year-old Spaniard, seeded 12th, made the last-four in NY by defeating Argentine 29th seed Diego Schwartzman 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.

Schartzman, at 5ft 7in (1.70m), was the shortest Slam quarter-finalist since same-height Peruvian Jaime Yzaga at the 1994 US Open.

Anderson pounded 22 aces, including a 132-mph heater to close out the third set. With top seeds faltering in the early rounds of the tournament, Anderson made a quite progress to the final. He played his typical steady, if unspectacular, brand of tennis, earning two winners against just one unforced error.

It was now the South African making all the running, earning six break points in the third set, albeit needing a Carreno Busta double fault to get over the line.

He was knocked out at Wimbledon in 2014, 2015 and this year in the fourth round. Tiley, a former South Africa Davis Cup captain and now the tournament director at the Australian Open, said Anderson deserves every moment of his success. I have given myself a shot at being in the finals and I will be playing for a grand slam trophy.



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