Standing between the Johannesburg-born Anderson and victory will be Nadal, who is not only a world No 1, but entered the tournament as the top seed and boasts an impressive 15 Grand Slam titles.
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.
With four titles this year, including a grand slam at Roland Garros, Nadal has the momentum going into the match and with a comprehensive 4-0 winning record against the South African, will be heavy favourite to lift his third U.S. Open title.
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. He's the first South African to play in the US Open final since the start of the Open era and stands as the lowest seed ever to get this far in the event.
The 6ft 8in (2.03m) world number 32 Anderson will be a big underdog against Nadal, who will contest his 23rd major final. "I was told I probably needed surgery on my hip", Anderson said. "He had some injuries so he's a big example for the kids and for the rest of the tour too".
31-year-old Nadal is looking to win his 16th grand slam title and his second of the year after claiming his 10th French Open title in June.
He's by no means a rookie to the sport of tennis, however, and the 31-year-old player has a tremendous amount of experience.
"It's great to see him in a final of one of the most important events of the year".
After an early wobble, he switched gears to prevail and move within touching distance of his 16th grand slam title. Catch live scores and updates of the US Open final between Rafael Nadal and Kevin Anderson here.