US Open 2017: Nadal beats Kevin Anderson to win his 16th career Grand Slam
Rafael Nadal with the US Open trophy (Image credit- Twitter)
Kolkata: In what can be called a completely dominating performance, 31-year-old Spaniard Rafael Nadal playing his 23rd Grand Slam final, brushed aside Kevin Anderson of South Africa 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 in straight sets at the Arthur Ashe Stadium on Monday.
Nadal courtesy this win, raced to his 16th Grand Slam and his third US Open in a career that has spanned over 15 years.
Facing Anderson, who became the lowest-ranked (32) player to make it to the final of US Open, Nadal faced no difficulties defeating the South African to keep a clean sheet over his opponent in five meetings.
The world number one, who was playing his third Grand Slam final this year, won two Grand Slam titles for the first time since 2013, having won the French Open earlier. “It’s just unbelievable what happened this year”, he said.
“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,” added Nadal. He now stands just behind the Swiss legend Roger Federer (19) in the list of total Grand Slams in the men’s category, having overtaken Pete Sampras’ 14 titles when he won the French Open, this year in June.
Nadal’s win not only brought back his domination in the tennis court but also completed the Nad-Fedex rout, with both having won two Slams each out of the total four this season (Federer won Australian Open and Wimbledon).
The 2010 and 2013 US Open champion dropped just 16 points on serve in the entire match and did not face a single break point, while also breaking the taller Anderson’s serve as many as four times.
It was not only a match between the two finalists, but also between a fan and his idol. Anderson, in awe of his hero, could not stop showering praise on Nadal. He said, “I know we’re the same age but I feel like I’ve been watching you my whole life.
He further added, “You’re one of the toughest competitors in the game and one of the greatest ambassadors of our sport. You really have been an idol of mine. This isn’t the result I always wanted but I’ll keep fighting as you have taught me and I’ll be back.”
The tournament also saw Rafa’s uncle and coach Toni retire and Nadal bid an emotional goodbye to him. He said, ” I thank uncle Toni. Without him I would never be playing tennis. It is great I had someone like him pushing me all the time. He had great motivation to practise with me since I was a kid. He is for sure one of the most important people in my life.”
Toni Nadal will now look after the aspiring tennis players in his academy in Mallorca, Spain.