Rafael Nadal put in a commanding display in 2 hours and 28 minutes to win his third US Open title with a straight sets win over Kevin Anderson at the Flushing Meadows.
The world no. 1 stormed to his 16th major title with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 victory in Sunday’s final in New York.
Nadal, now 31, has now won two Grand Slams this year after winning his 10th Roland Garros crown in June.
“It’s just unbelievable what happened this year,” said Nadal at the trophy presentation. “After a couple of years with some troubles, injuries, sometimes playing not good – since the beginning of the season, it has been very, very emotional.”
For Anderson, despite the loss, it was his first major appearance in a major final, an incredible effort at 31 years of age and given his injury struggles of 2016.
“It’s been an amazing two weeks for me. Last year was difficult for me, it’s tough when you’re injured as a tennis player and the competition is so strong,” said the South African.
“And to come back and make my first final of a Grand Slam, it’s really been a special two weeks.”
He was also full of praise for Nadal, saying, “I know we’re the same age but I feel like I’ve been watching you my whole life.
“You’re one of the toughest competitors in the game and one of the greatest ambassadors of our sport.”
For Nadal, being able to win on the hard courts of New York as well as on the clay at the French Open will mean so much to him. It has also ensured he is very likely to end the year as world number 1 for a fourth time.