Nadal will be more than ready for Anderson to swing for the fences, but it will probably be the South African's best chance of snatching a set or two to pressure the Spaniard and provide a genuine contest.
Nadal has played himself into sparkling form at Flushing Meadows and romped home against Juan Martin del Potro in the semi-finals as he recovered superbly from losing the first set, dropping just five games in the next three sets.
Another victory would make Anderson, who won a national doubles championship at the University of IL at Urbana-Champaign, the first former collegiate player to win a men's singles Grand Slam since John McEnroe (Stanford) claimed his last US Open win in 1984. After conceding the first set to the big-serving Argentine, Nadal delivered a fierce counter punch in the second set before coasting through the third and fourth sets to put away Del Potro, the man who eliminated pre-tournament favourite Roger Federer in Wednesday's semi-final. He is the world number one playing in his 23rd Slam final and won his first major as a 19-year-old at the sixth attempt.
"I really don't know what to say right now".
He is the lowest-ranked men's finalist since the ATP rankings began in 1973, but is still being tipped by some tennis insiders as a dark horse from the get-go. Nadal had beaten Anderson in straight sets in their last encounter on clay at 2017 Barcelona Open. On the eve of the final, Nadal said he was rooting for the South African during his trysts with injuries.
MI vs. Florida: Prediction, preview, pick to win
Michigan's offense sputtered some after the break, leaving points on the field by way of incomplete passes and missed field goals. On the next play, Speight fired a draft across the middle to Grant Perry for a 28-yard gain that set up the go-ahead touchdown.
Will Rafael Nadal win a 16th Grand Slam title? "He had some injuries so he's a big example for the kids and for the rest of the tour too".
Should this year's last major final end with anything but another piece of hardware in Nadal's hands, it will be one of the greatest sports upsets of 2017 so far.
Follow SN's live updates from the match here.
Start time: 6 a.m. Monday (AEST), 4 p.m.