Kevin Anderson: Five things to know about SA's tennis star

Rafael Nadal celebrates his victory over Kevin Anderson to win the US Open. Shannon Stapleton  Reuters

Today's champion will be the fifth straight grand slam victor aged 30 or over going back to last year's US Open when Stan Wawrinka took the title.

World No 1 Rafael Nadal has vowed to "fight to win another title" at the US Open as he prepares to take on surprise package Kevin Anderson in today's final.

The opening ceremony is under way and the players should be on court shortly.

Kevin Anderson hauled his 2.02-meter (6 feet 6 inches) frame up into his team's box to kiss his wife Kelsey after securing a place in the 2017 US Open Final - the first Grand Slam final of his career.

He had also become an American citizen when he won the 1982 Australian Open. Nadal is the top seed and he has a 4-0 head-to-head record against Anderson.

The South African is the lowest-ranked US Open finalist since the inception of the Emirates ATP Rankings in 1973 as the previous lowest-ranked US Open finalist was No. 22 Mark Philippoussis in 1998. Both players have met four times in the past, with Nadal winning all of those matches. Follow along for live updates, scores and analysis on the match starting at 4 p.m. ET. We've been privileged to play in these tournaments against some of the game's great players.

Anderson, on the other hand, defeated Nadal's compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta 6-4, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 to set up a date with Nadal at the US Open final. "This means the absolute world to me". Nine months ago, he was told he might need hip surgery.

"It shows that, through courage, determination and hard work, a player from the southern tip of Africa can make it on the global tennis stage", he said.

The King of Clay, Nadal, has won 15 of the 22 Slam finals that he's contested, including a 2-1 record here in NY, and starts as a very heavy [1.15] favourite to make it 16 from 23. He prevailed at Flushing Meadows in 2010 and 2013, besides suffering a loss to Novak Djokovic in the 2014 final.

Related news: