That same day, Anderson, the 31-year-old South African, poked his way past Pablo Carreno Busta and into the first Grand Slam final of his decade-long pro career.
Nadal's run in the tournament has not been without hiccups either.
Nadal has won all of the four meetings between these two players with a nine to one advantage in sets played, including their lone clash at a grand slam: a 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 win in the fourth round of the 2015 Australian Open.
He will seek his second Slam of the year, his third US Open title and his 16th overall Grand Slam title.
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. His previous best also came at the US Open when he reached the quarters in.
"It was very hard at the end of past year".
The Spaniard's speed and power has been on full display over the last two weeks at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
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I'm not in those shoes, so I can't speak on him, so whatever he's dealing with I'm praying for him and hopefully he'll be back". Football has always been a unsafe sport, but recent research has provided insight into how life-threatening the game can be.
If past experience is at all predictive of future success, Nadal should make fairly quick work of Anderson on Sunday afternoon.
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.
For one, he's 4-0 in previous matches against his challenger from Johannesburg.
The Big Four of Nadal, Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray has combined to win 45 of the last 50 major singles titles.
HuffPost SA spoke to the Andersons on Sunday and theyparents told us about all the emotion they went through when he won the semi-final.
The Spaniard is appearing in his 23rd Grand Slam final, including third this season.
Which is to say, expect Rafa to reign supreme once again in New York City, for the first time since 2013.