This is the sixth occasion when they were a round away from playing in NY, but one or the other lost – including eight years ago, when del Potro beat Nadal in the semifinals, then Federer in the final to end the Swiss star’s run of five consecutive titles at the tournament.
“Important day for me”, Nadal told reporters. The games were short, and Anderson made several errors in the seventh game that allowed Carreno Busta to break his serve and take a 4-3 lead and eventually win the set.
There’s no doubt that this will be a see-saw tussle though and I think it might take a while for Del Potro to find his range, especially with his wrists being really tested with Nadal attempting to pummel his backhand, but assuming his is physically right then he has the game to deliver. “I hit my best backhand on the tournament tonight (against Federer), which is a good signal for the future”.
“I didn’t even think about it, as I lost that match, that it’s not going to happen”, Federer said when asked if he was thinking about a potential matchup with Nadal.
“When he’s playing well it’s hard to stop him”, Nadal said. “But the 6’8” South African could only play the opponents in front of him, and a Grand Slam final carries the same weight regardless of one’s path.
“If I play at my best level, I believe I’m going to have my chances against everybody”. It was an unbelievably tough match for me.
Given the circumstances and all the injury problems he has gone through in the intervening years, it would be a significantly more remarkable achievement if he could repeat the feat.
“I tried until the very end”, Federer said.
World number 32 Anderson became the lowest-ranked U.S. Open men’s singles finalist since the inception of the ATP rankings in 1973 when he survived an early wobble to down Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 4-6 7-5 6-3 6-4.
Del Potro hit huge forehands, big serves and stayed focused when Federer seemed to be back in control in a one-sided second set.
“I honestly was only thinking about tonight”, said Federer, 36.
Anderson and Pablo Carreno Busta played appetizer to the main course, and their contrast of styles made for a compelling, if less than stellar, match.
The country used to produce an abundance of top players but its fall from grace in the game has been akin to that of Sweden.
“I will try to exploit the atmosphere and if I play my best I can be a danger to him”. It makes this match truly unpredictable, but compelling at the same time.
Federer entered the quarterfinals undefeated in Grand Slam play this season.
Who do you think will win tonight’s tennis showdown?
Without notables Serena Williams, Simona Halep, Caroline Wozniaki, Elina Svitolina, Karolina Pliskova and Garbine Muguruza, the last women’s Slam title is also up for grabs.