Spain’s Rafael Nadal dominated South Africa’s Kevin Anderson, 6-3, 6-3, 6-4, in the finals to win this year’s US Open, capping his amazing season and brought back to life heated discussions on what was the supposedly buried topic on who the tennis “Greatest Of All Time” is.
Nadal did not face any of the top 30 players as the men’s top talent either withdrew on injuries or were waylaid before getting a chance to meet this year’s top seed.
Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, defending champion Stan Wawrinka, Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori were all missing from the final Grand Slam of the season because of various injuries.
Alexander Zverev and Marin Cilic lost in the second and third rounds respectively, while Nadal’s longtime rival Roger Federer fell to Juan Martin del Potro in the quarterfinals.
After beating lesser-knowns Dusan Lajovic, Taro Daniel, Leonardo Mayer, Alexandr Dolgopolov and Andrey Rublev, Nadal was then due to face Federer in the semifinals.
Unfortunately, the 24th seed Del Potro played spoiler by dumping the Swiss in the quarters and advanced instead to become the first seeded player that Nadal would face in the tournament.
While Del Potro did beat both Nadal and Federer in the 2009 edition of the tournament, he couldn’t duplicate his performance against Federer on Nadal.
Nadal came out smoking after losing the first set, 4-6, to rout the Argentine, 6-0, 6-3, 6-2, to reach the finals where he would also engineer the comfortable win over Anderson.
The grandslam win is Nadal’s 3rd US Open victory and 16th overall, including his 10 French Opens, two Wimbledons, and an Australian Open.
This win was his second this year, along with the record-breaking 10th win at Roland Garros. He also reached the Australian Open and was about to bag the match when Federer cameback to snatch the victory.
See story: The Legend of King of Clay continues to grow
Federer is still ahead with his 19 grand slam titles, maintaining a 3-title gap between him and Nadal. Aside from annexing the Australian Open, he also bagged a record breaking 8th Wimbledon title last August.
Federer, who also had a tantalizing year, earlier beat Nadal in the the Australian Open and nailed a record-breaking win at Wimbledon.
By winning the Wimbledon, Federer seems to lock-up the G.O.A.T title until Nadal revived the discussion between the two surface specialists.
Nadal reigns supreme on clay while Federer is tops on grass. If the hardcourts are to be factored in, how would one rank Nadal and Federer all-time is again now up for debate.
American great Pete Sampras is third in the Grand Slam count with 14 while Djokovic is fourth with 12.
By: ARMANDO M. BOLISLIS