Wielding his monster serve to devastating effect, Anderson beat Spain's Pablo Carrena Busta 4-6 7-6 6-3 6-4 in the semi-finals to reach his first grand slam final at the age of 31.
Nadal would start as the strong favorite against Anderson given the Spaniard's proven record and experience at winning grand slams and his impressive record against Anderson in the past.
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.
Nadal's 2017 hard court service hold percentage of 89.3% is impressive, and only 2.0% below Anderson's, and as one of the best returners in men's tennis, Nadal has a huge edge on return against a player who can not even break as frequently as the average ATP player.
Incidentally, Anderson has been based in Florida in the USA, where he bought a house in 2011, but still maintains his South African citizenship. Nadal is the top seed and he has a 4-0 head-to-head record against Anderson. "This means the absolute world to me". "After years of hitting millions of tennis balls, and to see that was a dream come true", said Barbara Anderson.
"Last year, I was told I probably needed surgery on my hip, but here I am just nine months later".
Nadal's path to the final has only included one seeded opponent, 24th-seeded Juan Martin Del Potro in the semfinal.
"It shows that, through courage, determination and hard work, a player from the southern tip of Africa can make it on the global tennis stage", he said.
The World No 1 has already won Roland Garros earlier in the year and will have an opportunity to win his second Grand Slam of the year on Sunday.
He has won the tournament on two occasions in the past, in 2010 and 2013, defeating Novak Djokovic in the process on both occasions.