Anderson, Nadal US Open showdown looms

Rafael Nadal and Kevin Anderson (AP)
Rafael Nadal and Kevin Anderson (AP)

Cape Town - A rematch of last year's US Open final between South African No 1 Kevin Anderson and world No 1 Rafael Nadal is still on the cards.

And Serena Williams' seventh US Open title looks likely to be a possibility after she beat her sister Venus on Saturday morning (South African time).

Anderson and Nadal progressed to the fourth round of the last Grand Slam of the year, with Anderson beating Canadian Denis Shapovalov 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 on Friday to set up a fourth-round clash with Austria's Dominic Thiem.

Should the 2.03m tall South African giant oust ninth-ranked Thiem of Austria on Sunday and reach the quarter-finals, he will most likely play against the Spaniard.

READ: Anderson takes 6-1 win-record into clash with Thiem

Nadal will have to defeat Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili today for this clash to materialise.

In last year's final, the Johannesburg-born player lost in three sets 6-3, 6-3, 6-4.

Head-to-head, Anderson is yet to beat Nadal, having lost all five of their encounters.

They first played against each other in 2010 in the Rogers Cup. After reaching another Grand Slam final at Wimbledon en route to defeating Swiss legend Roger Federer, Anderson will be hoping he stands a better chance this year.

"Projecting forwards to the US Open and next year, I just feel a little more comfortable saying that I'm here to compete for the win," Anderson said before the start of the tournament.

"I would have said it before, but now I can say it with more self-assurance."

Three-time Grand Slam winner Andy Murray was shown the door by Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in the second round.

Swiss star Stan Wawrinka's fight back to the top was stopped by Canadian Milos Raonic in the third round.

The 33-year-old Wawrinka was unable to defend his 2016 US Open title after undergoing two knee surgeries last year.

On the women's side, Williams has put up some great performances to reach the fourth round.

The 23-time Grand Slam winner, who will play Estonian Kaia Kanepi on Sunday, has not dropped a set in all three of her games.

She won her opening match, crushing world No 60 Magda Linette of Poland 6-4, 6-0. The US legend then beat 48th ranked Carina Witthöft of Germany 6-2, 6-2 in the second round before beating her big sister.

Last year's winner, American Sloane Stephens, will also be playing her quarter-final match, against Belgian Elise Mertens on Sunday.

The Women's Tennis Association No 2 Caroline Wozniacki followed No 1 Simona Halep out when she lost to 36th-ranked Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine.

Wozniacki, who is the reigning Australian Open champion, lost 6-4, 6-2 in the second round.

Halep became the first shock when she exited the tournament in her first game after losing to No 44 Kanepi.

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