US Open final, Rafael Nadal vs Kevin Anderson: Sweet 16 for Rafa Nadal

US Open final, Rafael Nadal vs Kevin Anderson: Sweet 16 for Rafa Nadal

Rafael Nadal beat Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 to win the 2017 US Open title.

Rafael Nadal won his 16th Grand Slam title on Sunday when he lifted the US Open 2017 trophy at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows. Nadal defeated South Africa's Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 in show of sheer domination. This Nadal's second Grand Slam title this year and his third at the US Open in his career. It means that Nadal and Roger Federer have won two Grand Slams each this year. Nadal maintains his stronhold on the world no. 1 position with Federer behind him. (Source: Reuters)

Before this match, Nadal led Anderson 4-0 on a head-to-head basis. Their last meeting came in Barcelona earlier in April. They’ve met in a Grand Slam just once when Nadal won 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 in the fourth round at the 2015 Australian Open. (Source: Reuters)

The US Open final, or any Grand Slam final for that matter, is never devoid of the star factor. There were quite a few stars at the Arthur Ashe stadium. Most notably, Sloane Stephens, who had her own tryst with Grand Slam glory just a day before, was present in the stands. Here she is seen with Hollywood actor Matt Dillon. (Source: Reuters)

Also present was Golf's once upon a time poster boy turned trouble magnet Tiger Woods, actor Hillary Swank - who was also present at the women's singles final on Saturday - , veteran singer Tony Bennett and comedian Jerry Seinfeld among others.

Kevin Anderson was playing in his first ever Grand Slam final. He is the first since Pete Sampras in 2002 to have reached the final at Flushing Meadows while being ranked outside the top-16 and only the sixth in history. At 6'8" he is a giant of an opponent to face and indeed is the tallest finalist ever at the US Open. Anderson was off to a good start as he caught Nadal unawares with his big serves. (Source: AP)

The two players were on level terms until 2-2 in the first set after which Nadal pulled away. Anderson did make it 4-3 but was unable to match Nadal. The fact that the South African was unable to break Nadal even once throughout the match is a testimony to the sheer dominance of the Spaniard in the contest. But Anderson made Nadal work for that final point. It was on his second championship point that Nadal came to the net and volleyed to the empty part of the court before raising hands and soaking in the cheers. (Source: AP)

In the post-match presentation, Nadal thanked his uncle Toni, with whom he will be departing ways at the end of the season. “I can’t thank him enough for all the things he has done for me," he said, "Without him, I would have never been playing tennis. ... For sure, he was one of the most important persons in my life." He also reserved a special mention for the victims of the earthquake in Mexico and the hurricane in the Carribean and the US. He also thanked "life" itself for providing him with a career such as his. (Source: Reuters)