Rafael Nadal triumphed over South Africa’s Kevin Anderson 6-3 6-3 6-4 to win the US Open on Sunday, earning the Spaniard his second grand slam title of the season and 16th of his career.
It was the 74th title of his career, while the $3.7 million winner’s prize boosted his earnings to a shade under $90 million.
“It’s just unbelievable what happened this year,” said Nadal.
“After a couple of years with some troubles, injuries, sometimes playing not good – since the beginning of the season it has been very, very emotional.”
Top seed Nadal who won the French Open in June, also claimed two major titles in the same year for the first time since his last triumph at Flushing Meadows in 2013.
First-time finalist Anderson, who stands 6ft 8in, was bidding to become his country’s first Grand Slam champion since Johan Kriek at the 1981 Australian Open, but Nadal proved to be a different proposition altogether, defeating the South African in straight sets.
I really want to congratulate Rafa,” said runner-up Anderson. “I know we’re the same age but I feel like I’ve been watching you my whole life. You’ve been an idol of mine. It’s tough to play you but you’re one of the greatest ambassadors for our sport.
“It’s been an amazing two weeks. Last year was difficult, it’s tough to be injured and the competition is so strong so to come back and make my first final, it’s been a really special two weeks. This isn’t the result I wanted but I’ll keep fighting and I’ll be back.”
Nadal is just three grand slams behind Federer’s record 19.