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Rafael Nadal Beats Kevin Anderson for 3rd US Open

  • Associated Press

Rafael Nadal reacts to beating Kevin Anderson in the Men's Singles Final at the 2017 US Open, Sept. 10, 2017.

Rafael Nadal overwhelmed first-time major finalist Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 on Sunday to win his third U.S. Open championship.

It is Nadal's second Grand Slam title of the year and 16th of his career. Only his longtime rival Roger Federer has more, with 19.

At No. 32, Anderson was the lowest-ranked U.S. Open men's finalist since the ATP computer rankings began 44 years ago. He had never before been past the quarterfinals at any major tournament in 33 tries.

So the matchup shaped up as a mismatch and that's exactly what it was.

The No. 1-ranked Nadal dominated every facet of the 2{-hour final. He broke the 6-foot-8 (1.98-meter) Anderson's big serve four times and never faced a break point himself.

Nadal improved to 16-7 in Grand Slam finals. For the first time since 2013, he appeared in three in a single season, losing to Federer at the Australian Open in January, then beating Stan Wawrinka for his record 10th French Open trophy in June.

Stephens wins women's title

Sloane Stephens never looked shaken by the setting or the stakes in her first Grand Slam final. Her opponent, Madison Keys, most definitely did.

Stephens easily beat her close friend Keys 6-3, 6-0 to win the U.S. Open on Saturday, capping a remarkably rapid rise after sitting out 11 months because of foot surgery.

"I should just retire now," Stephens joked. "I told Maddie I'm never going to be able to top this. I mean, talk about a comeback."

The 83rd-ranked Stephens, who beat Venus Williams in the semifinals, is only the second unseeded woman to win the tournament in the Open era, which began in 1968.

A year ago, she sat out the U.S. Open altogether because of what turned out to be a stress fracture in her left foot. She had an operation in January, and made her season debut at Wimbledon in July, exiting in the first round. Lost her next match, too, in Washington.

Since then, she has gone 15-2, and her ranking has soared from outside the top 900 to what will be around No. 20 as of Monday. Oh, and, don't forget: She is now, and forever will be, a Grand Slam champion.

"I mean, things just have to come together," Stephens said, "and the last six weeks, five weeks, they really have."

This was only the second time in the Open era that two women were making their Grand Slam final debuts against each other in New York. Stephens most certainly handled the occasion better, claiming the last eight games and making only six unforced errors _ Keys had 30 _ in the entire 61-minute mismatch.

Keys, 22, and Stephens, 24, have known each other for years. They texted and spoke on the phone early in 2017 , when both sat out the Australian Open because of operations _ Keys on her left wrist, Stephens on her left foot.

When the match ended, they met at the net for a long hug. While waiting for the trophy ceremony to begin, Stephens walked over and plopped herself down in a courtside chair next to Keys, so they could chat side-by-side.

"Sloane is truly one of my favorite people and to get to play her was really special. Obviously I didn't play my best tennis today and was disappointed," Keys said. "But Sloane, being the great friend that she is, was very supportive. And if there's someone I have to lose to today, I'm glad it's her."

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