Day 14, U.S Open – Rafa wins number 16!

As the American’s say ‘ we are back to a 3 point game!’. With everyone raving about Roger Federer this season, Nadal has gone under the radar at times. In theory, he has had a better season than his Swiss rival, they have both shared two slams a piece now but Rafa is world number one as it stands. He has every chance of staying there for the remainder of the year with little to defend but a quarter-final in Beijing! I appreciate that some of the raving is due to Federer being 36 and that’s a fair argument, but it doesn’t diminish Rafa’s achievements whatsoever!

I have a lot of time for Kevin Anderson, he is a true pro! It goes a long way and this has been a fantastic fortnight for him. The South African has taken the opportunity to reach a grand slam final by the scruff of the neck and beaten what has been put in front of him. When it came down to beating Querrey and PCB, both were put away in 4 sets. The trouble is there are bad matchups in this game and Nadal for Anderson is a bit of a nightmare. I don’t think he played particularly badly in the final, but he didn’t manage to have a break point on Nadal’s serve and only won 36% behind his second serve. Stats like this suggest you are in for a rough evening! Rafa was all over him from the first game, had Anderson lost focus early on then it could have been easier. The South African always gives a good account of himself in this area and his determination kept him a float! From the moment Nadal broke at 3-3 in the first you knew the writing was on the wall though!

Nadal has got better with every match, I sound like a broken record but it has been true. I was worried a week and a half ago for his chances, when I was on the Ashe and he was a set and a break down to Taro Daniel, but there was never a real panic there or after for that matter. Delboy extended him for a while but was comfortably beaten by the end and the same was true against Big Kev who just couldn’t get close! I think there was extra satisfaction winning this for Rafa as this is likely to be his last slam with Uncle Toni present. Like in the women’s event, Nadal was a fully deserved winner. A great way to finish, the serve and volley, it is a perfect example of how he has adapted his game and made changes to prolong his career and move with the times! As us Liverpool fans used to say ‘In Rafa we trust’.

Andy Del Potro

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