The singles final for the inaugural New York Open is set, and it will be the tournament’s top two seeds, Kevin Anderson and Sam Querrey, respectively, who will square off on Sunday.
Anderson raced out to a huge lead against Kei Nishikori in the semifinals on Saturday night at NYCB LIVE home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, but needed three sets and a tiebreaker to defeat the fifth-seed 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(4) and reach the tournament’s final.
“I thought I got off to a great start…I knew the second set would be tighter, I knew Kei would raise his level and he did,” said Anderson. “Then it got really close in the third set, no breaks of serve. Obviously anything can happen in a tiebreaker, so I’m really pleased to get through today.”
The 2017 U.S. Open finalist broke Nishikori’s serve in each of his first two service games to build a 5-0 advantage in the opening set. Nishikori would hold serve in the sixth game to get on the board, but Anderson closed the set out convincingly in the next game.
Nishikori would find his rhythm in the second set and it helped turn the match into the best of the tournament. He broke for a 3-1 lead and held his serve throughout to win the set and force a deciding third.
Neither player would budge on their own serve throughout the third set. Nishikori was visited by the trainer before serving at 5-6 but promptly held serve in the ensuing game to leave the match’s fate up to a tiebreaker.
Anderson would win the final two points of the tiebreaker on Nishikori’s serve, clinching the victory when a Nishikori backhand crashed into the net on match point.
Querrey and Anderson will meet for the 16th time on Sunday. Their last meeting came at the U.S. Open last year, a four-set victory from Anderson in the quarterfinals.
“I’m just really excited to be in the finals here with a chance of playing for the title tomorrow,” said Anderson. “I’m up against a really tough opponent. I’ve played Sam many, many times; he is a very dangerous player. We’ve had a lot of close matches and I’m expecting another one tomorrow.”