Rafael Nadal, who won his third US Open title with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 win over World No. 32 Kevin Anderson, says it's been a tough journey with injuries along the way, but 2017 will still stand out from the rest
Rafael Nadal (right) and Kevin Anderson with their trophies in New York on Sunday. Pic/AFP, Getty Images
Rafael Nadal described the year 2017 as "one of the best of his career" on Sunday after winning a third US Open and 16th Grand Slam. World No. 1 Nadal defeated South Africa's World No. 32 Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 in a brutally one-sided final during which he did not face a break point.
"In terms of results, this has been one of the best seasons of my career, of course," Nadal admitted of a year in which he won at least two Slams for the fourth time in his career.
'A very competitive year'
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, 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. So this year has been very competitive for me. And on clay, I won almost every match. It has been an emotional season because I have been through tough moments in terms of injuries," he added.
Kevin Anderson says don't count him out just yet even after an impressive two-week run to his first Grand Slam final ended in failure by losing to Rafael Nadal in the US Open final. "I'd love to build on these two weeks. It was very difficult, but I was able to find my way all the way into the finals. I'll work very hard to hopefully give myself another opportunity," he said.
To hammer home their enduring appeal and dominance, Federer and Nadal shared the four Slams in 2017 — Federer winning the Australian Open before capturing a record eighth Wimbledon.
Despite his success, catching the 19 majors of Federer is not particularly high on Nadal's list of priorities. "I never thought much about that. I just do my way. He does his way. Let's see when we finish," he said.
Men's singles Grand Slam leaders
Roger Federer (Switzerland)
Rafael Nadal (Spain)
Pete Sampras (USA)
Novak Djokovic (Serbia), Roy Emerson (Australia)
Bjorn Borg (Sweden), Rod Laver (Australia)
Bill Tilden (USA)
Mahesh Bhupathi@Maheshbhupathi: Rog and Rafa sweeping the majors, two of the greatest ambassadors of our sport, surely the GOAT discussions must be put on hold for now
Viren Rasquinha@virenrasquinha: Vamos Rafa!! Grand Slam No. 16. #USOpen. Not a single breakpoint faced in the final. Simply amazing.
Chris Evert@ChrissieEvert: Congrats to @RafaelNadal A Great and humble champion.. #16 GS's and still rising.
Pat Cash@TheRealPatCash: #Nadal is one of the all time greats at moving an opponent around and systematically breaking them down. Always plays the long game. #USopen
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