World Number one Rafa Nadal trounced South African Kevin Anderson in three straight sets 6-3 6-3 6-4 to lift his 16th Grand Slam trophy, his third in New York.
Nadal broke Anderson in the first set to go up 4-3, after the two players had held serve three games apiece. Nadal reaped bountifully from Anderson’s erratic forehand, such that midway in the first set, he had logged 20 unforced errors.
Nadal and Anderson after the game
Sunday’s final marked Nadal’s fourth and the first time that he did not have Novak Djokovic standing on the other side of the net.
The world number one was as brilliant as he was business-like keeping the towering South African under constant pressure while not facing a single break point.
For journeyman Anderson 31, a grand slam breakthrough was not to be, his booming serve having no impact while Nadal delivered a near-perfect performance for a soldout crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium committing just 11 unforced errors.
“It’s been a very special two weeks for me,” Nadal told ESPN in his post-match interview.
“But before I talk about me, I want to say congrats to Kevin. He’s a great example for a lot of kids and the rest of the tour to come back better than ever.
“For me, personally it’s unbelievable. After a couple of years with some injury problems, it has been very emotional since the beginning of the season. Since the Australian Open, I’ve been playing a very high level of tennis. Winning here in New York gives me great energy, because the crowd is unbelievable. They make me feel so happy.”
“Rafa is one of the greatest ambassadors in our sport, so congrats to him,” Anderson said in his post-match interview with ESPN.
“It’s been an amazing two weeks for me. To make my first final of a Grand Slam has really been special. I can take a lot of positive from this summer. A lot of emotions to deal with. I was up against a pretty good opponent today. I’ll continue working hard to give myself more opportunities. I’ll take it a day at a time and I’m really pleased with how things turned out here.”
Celebrities such as Rupert Murdoch, Jerry Seinfeld, Hilary Swank, Tony Bennett, Bill Gates and Tiger Woods were in attendance at the sold out match at Arthur Ashe Stadium.