Tue, Sep 12, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Nadal wins his 16th Grand Slam

THIRD US OPEN TITLE:Rafael Nadal said catching up with Roger Federer, who has won 19 major titles, is not particularly high on his list of priorities

AFP, NEW YORK

Spain’s Rafael Nadal returns to Kevin Anderson of South Africa in the US Open men’s singles final at Flushing Meadows in New York on Sunday.

Photo: AFP

Rafael Nadal on Sunday described this year as “one of the best of his career” after winning a third US Open men’s singles title and a 16th Grand Slam.

World No. 1 Nadal defeated South African world No. 32 Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 in a brutally one-sided final during which he did not face a single break point.

Nadal also claimed an unprecedented 10th French Open in June after finishing runner-up to Roger Federer at the Australian Open.

“In terms of results, this has been one of the best seasons of my career, of course,” Nadal said of a year in which he won at least two Grand Slams for the fourth time in his career.

Had he gotten the better of Gilles Muller at Wimbledon, where he lost the final set of his fourth-round clash 15-13, the year might have been even more memorable.

“I have been winning titles, playing three finals of Grand Slams, so that’s a lot. That’s so difficult. The other Slam that I was not in the final, I lost the match 15-13 in the fifth to be in the quarter-finals,” he said. “So was [a] very competitive year for me and on clay I won almost every match. Of course [it] is an emotional season because I have been through tough moments in terms of injuries.”

Nadal’s win was the latest chapter in an epic story of domination by the sport’s superstars.

From Wimbledon in 2003, an incredible 53 of 58 Grand Slams have been claimed by just five men — Federer (19), Nadal (16), Novak Djokovic (12) and Andy Murray (3) and Stan Wawrinka (3).

Only Andy Roddick, Gaston Gaudio, Marat Safin, Juan Martin del Potro and Marin Cilic have broken the spell.

“We are are in an era that is not nice to say, because I’m part of it, but we are in an era that some players make incredible things in this sport,” Nadal said. “It’s difficult to win a lot of titles. We should be very happy. Probably even Roger and me and Novak, much more than we ever dreamed.”

To hammer home their enduring appeal and dominance, Federer and Nadal shared the four Grand Slams this year — Federer winning the Australian Open before capturing a record eighth title on the grass at Wimbledon.

Despite his success, catching the 19 majors of Federer is not particularly high on Nadal’s list of priorities.

“I really never thought much about that. I just do my way. He does his way. Let’s see when we finish,” Nadal said. “I have 16. So three is [a] big difference. I really don’t think much about these kind of things. Well done for Roger that he is having an amazing season, too, and well done for me because I’m having a great season, too. Tennis is not all about the Grand Slams, so there are tournaments to come and I’m excited about this last part of the season.”

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