NEW YORK (Reuters) – World number one Rafa Nadal moved closer to a 16th grand slam title when he recovered from a first set wobble to crush Argentine 24th seed Juan Martin del Potro 4-6 6-0 6-3 6-2 in the U.S. Open semi-finals on Friday.
The Spaniard struggled to handle his opponent’s serve and huge forehand in the opening set before finding his stride to set up a title decider with South Africa’s Kevin Anderson on Sunday.
Del Potro, who had played a total of nine sets in the two previous rounds as Nadal cruised into the last four, ran out of gas and looked toothless against the Spanish juggernaut.
Nadal ended the 2009 champion’s ordeal with a splendid backhand passing shot on his first match point, four years after his last title at Flushing Meadows.
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ian Ransom