Making predictions for who will win the trophy in the US Open 2017 men's final: Rafael Nadal or Kevin Anderson?

By The SI Staff
September 09, 2017

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal and No. 28-seed Kevin Anderson will face off in the 2017 U.S. Open final on Sunday in New York.

Nadal defeated Juan Martin del Potro in four sets in the semifinals on Friday, while Anderson took out No. 12-seed Pablo Carreno Busta to reach his first major final. Nadal will be playing in his 23rd Grand Slam final as he fights for his 16th Grand Slam title, while Anderson is looking to win his first major championship.

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As It Happened: Rafael Nadal Beats Juan Martin del Potro to Reach U.S. Open Final

The final is set to begin at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows. Both Nadal and Anderson are 31 years old, meaning that the champion will be the fifth straight Grand Slam winner 30 and over, going back to last year’s U.S. Open where Stan Wawrinka (31) captured the title. 

So who will take home the title? Below, SI's tennis experts make their pick and predictions for the 2017 U.S. Open men's final.

Richard Deitsch

The Pick: Nadal. 

The semifinal between Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro had the feel of this year’s de facto final, given the players and the absence of stars on the other side of the draw. It wasn’t close: Nadal blew Delpo off the court. First-time finalist Anderson is the lowest-ranked man to reach a singles final at Flushing Meadows and he’s 0-4 against Nadal. He’s had a great, great tournament. Reality comes Sunday. Nadal in three for Grand Slam title No. 16.

Tennis
No. 1 Rafael Nadal to Face South Africa's Kevin Anderson for 2017 U.S. Open Title

Jamie Lisanti

The Pick: Nadal.

It's really great that Kevin Anderson is into his first major final. It's really unfortunate that he'll have to face Nadal when he gets there. The Spaniard played remarkable tennis against a weary Juan Martin del Potro in the semifinal and it's not easy to pick against him in Sunday's championship. He leads the head-to-head against the South African 4-0. He's found his way through some tough early matches, and in the later rounds, he found another gear when it mattered most. Most important: He's been here before. On Sunday, Nadal will win three sets of tennis to capture his 16th Grand Slam title and second of the year. 

Stanley Kay

The Pick: Nadal.

I love the way Kevin Anderson is playing right now, and I don't think he'll just roll over for Nadal. Anderson will need an extraordinary serving day to pull off the upset. I think he'll push Nadal, but I think the Spaniard is simply on another level right now. The South African can take a set, but I still like Nadal in four, solidifying his status as the No. 1 player in the world.

Snapshots from the men's semifinals

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