Kevin Anderson went where no Illini has ever been Sunday afternoon: the final of a Grand Slam.
A former All-American with Illinois in the mid-2000’s, Anderson defeated Pablo Carreño Busta 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the U.S. Open Singles Final and a date with world No. 1 Rafael Nadal on Sunday afternoon.
Anderson — also the tallest finalist in Grand Slam history at 6-foot-8 — became the first Illini to reach the final of Grand Slam ever with the win.
A Johannesburg, South Africa, native, is the lowest-seeded player in U.S. Open history to reach the singles final. Most world-class tennis players never compete at the collegiate level, but Anderson, 31, did, and ESPN ran a story about that on Friday.
Most people are impressed with Anderson’s backhand. He may be a late bloomer, but he has three ATP singles titles and nine runner-up finishes.