Nadal makes hardcourts look easy for third US Open crown

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Nadal makes hardcourts look easy for third US Open crown

Federer won a classic Australian Open final and clashes in Indian Wells and Miami, and they were denied a fourth meeting by the Swiss star's loss to Juan Martin del Potro in the quarter-finals in NY.

The men's draw in NY was without many of its top talent. I'm very happy with all the things that are happening to me, to win this title again.

On what has been a throwback year for men's tennis, Rafael Nadal became King of NY while Sloane Stephens played an equally starring role by landing an unexpected maiden Grand Slam title. Despite that, Nadal stuck with his structure for a major part of the period, relying on the tried-and-tested cross court and sometimes down the line forehands to try and breathe some light into the fading champion.

Nadal had a 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 win over South African player Kevin Anderson. Nadal knew the only way to beat Raonic in Melbourne was to negate his biggest weapon, and he knew he had to change something for it. That level of performance was too much for Anderson, who relies heavily on a huge serve that typically wins bunches of free points off lesser opponents.

"I still have the passion and the love for the game".

It has not managed to reverse the situation and allowed Nadal to serve for the match at 5-4: the Spanish, despite a last burst of Anderson, did not miss his chance at the conclusion of its final on a last end victor.

"Obviously he (Toni) is the person who knows Rafa better and he played a big role in Rafa's success", said the 41-year-old. Anderson was hurt again in June, forced to retire from his fourth-round match at the French Open against Marin Cilic with another leg injury that slowed his Wimbledon preparation.

SO WE have seen the last major championship of the year and, as tennis chiefs do their best to sell us a new generation of players, the fact is the old names are far from done. He's eyeing a return to the top 10, where he was in October 2015.

Nadal has won all four meetings against the South African.

At No. 32, Anderson was the lowest-ranked US Open men's finalist since the ATP computer rankings began 44 years ago.

THE most striking image of finals weekend for me was Sloane Stephens holding the trophy aloft with the most glittering smile we witnessed all year in tennis.

"I think I did the right work".

With his NY victory, you can say that Rafa is also lucky.

Seven years and multiple injuries later, the tennis season of 2017 witnessed a resurgence of the legends. Anderson went to college, winning an NCAA doubles title at IL, so it's taken him a while to catch up. "It was very hard, but I was able to find my way all the way into the finals". The start of the third set spelled disaster for Anderson, as he would be broken on the very first game, then going down 2-0.

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