He is second to only No. 3 Roger Federer, who has 19 Grand Slam titles. Nadal will now have an almost 2000-point lead that will further cement his position at the top of the rankings.
At this tournament, Nadal missed playing Federer, who lost to No. 24 seed Juan Martin del Potro in the quarter-finals. Nadal didn’t face an opponent in the top 20 in his run to the title.
This is Anderson’s first major final. Coming into the US Open, his best Grand Slam result was at the quarter-finals of the 2015 US Open, where he defeated Andy Murray, but ended up losing to Stan Wawrinka.
On Sunday, he was completely overwhelmed by Nadal, who he has known since he was a child. “It feels like I have been watching you play all my life,” Anderson said.
Nadal dominated every aspect of the match that lasted around two-and-a-half hours. Anderson was able to serve aces — his biggest strength — under extreme pressure but it was no match to Nadal’s superior forehand and a ferocious backhand.
Nadal managed to break Anderson four times in the game — all that was needed to take the match in straight sets.
This win is also Nadal’s final major with his uncle, Toni, as his coach. Toni Nadal is stepping aside to focus on his work at Nadal’s tennis academy in Mallorca, Spain. Carlos Moya, a former world No. 1, joined Nadal’s coaching team in December.
As the US Open closes up the 2017 Slam season, it the marks the year of resurgence of the old-timers of the game: both Nadal and Federer have each won two of the four major titles.