Del Potro's backhand fails against Nadal

Rafael Nadal captured his 16th-ever Grand Slam title on Sunday

Rafael Nadal captured his 16th-ever Grand Slam title on Sunday

"I am in the final again and get the chance to fight for another title which is very important". Rafa Nadal will be aiming for his third title at Flushing Meadows, and there is no doubt he is the big favorite.

"I was not playing bad the first set, but I was playing too much against his backhand", Nadal said.

"Then at the beginning of the second (set), I knew that something had to change". But today it happened.

"Of course I felt when I arrived in Australia that I was playing at a very high level, but then you need to win matches".

What he did was magic. The Spaniard played remarkable tennis against a tired Juan Martin del Potro in the semifinal and it's not easy to pick against him in Sunday's championship. The tournament darling, his fans were hoping to chant "Ole, ole, ole" all the way to del Potro holding up the championship trophy.

Del Potro fended off two set points in the eighth game but it only delayed the inevitable as Nadal took a two-sets-to-one lead.

"I really need to be dominant and control proceedings as much as possible because if you let him do it, it's very hard".

He knows he will need to be at full strength on Sunday against Nadal - and even that might not be enough.


He may not be ranked near the top or have as many titles, but there is no doubt that del Potro is a top-level player. Federer, who won Wimbledon after sitting out Roland-Garros, was expected to meet Nadal in the semis, but faltered against del Potro in the quarters and was the first to say the man of Tandil deserved the win and had the better chance against the man of Manacor. Del Potro had the crowd in his pocket, wanting to see the tournament darling complete his heartwarming story after years of tragic injuries that left his career short.

Sure, the brutally physical matches might have finally caught up with him, but try telling that to his forehand, easily the most deadly shot in the current game.

And the gutsy 31-year-old has earned a fair share of luck for his hard work and perseverance through some tough years dealing with injury.

History is clearly in Nadal's favour considering he's won 68 percent of his grand slam finals to date and has lost just one set to Anderson in all four of their past encounters.

The World No 1 would play for his third title in NY after he came back from behind to win 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, 6-2. The world No. 1 has had his fair share of injuries himself and any of his fantastic wins mean a great deal. The year really has been about the two of them since they've split most of the big prizes. On Sunday, Nadal will win three sets of tennis to capture his 16th Grand Slam title and second of the year.

When the match ended, they met at the net for a hug. At the same time, when Nadal resumed tip-top prowess this year after closing down 2016 early last October, and he reached the Australian Open final and won the French Open, it still made sense. Anderson is the lowest-ranked US Open finalist since the inception of the ATP rankings in 1973.

Both players came out swinging on a brisk summer evening in NY.

Nadal did not get off to the brightest of starts, dropping the opening set as he struggled to handle the towering Argentine's serve and huge forehand.

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