This marks Nadal's second Grand Slam title of the season.
Nadal had a 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 win over South African player Kevin Anderson.
World No 32 Anderson was attempting to become the lowest-ranked champion in NY since Andre Agassi in 1994, but the dominant Spaniard, appearing in his 23rd Grand Slam final, including third this season, was in a different league and blitzed the South African to win 6-3 6-3 6-4. One word: injuries. None of the Big 3 (Murray, Djokovic and Wawrinka), winners of the four majors in 2016, joined the U.S. Open. He added a second break to finish off the set. World No. 1 Nadal played near-perfect tennis on Sunday, committing just 11 unforced errors, never facing a break point and winning all 16 points at the net, including a beautifully timed volley to clinch the title. Anderson is looking for his first.
But his success this summer, including another finals appearance in Washington, has the 31-year-old Anderson's career headed back in the right direction.
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. That's 35 grand slams between them - there are only four of these things a year! "Roger, Rafa, Novak and Andy, they're still the favourite guys to win seven five-set matches".
THE US Open was minus Andy Murray but his big brother Jamie continues to motor on after winning the mixed title in NY. Following the latest triumph, he has now won at least two majors in a season for the fourth time in his extremely remarkable career.
His ranking had tumbled to No. 80 in January, its lowest in 6 ½ years, during a hard start to his year that included a hip injury that forced him to miss the Australian Open.
The 16-year-old Anisimova won 6-0, 6-2 in the third straight Grand Slam junior final between Americans.
Nadal and Anderson are scheduled to clash in the final on Monday at 6:00am AEST.
The former Wimbledon champion told BBC Radio 5 Live: 'Take away the French Open and Federer is the best all-round player in the world.
Rafael Nadal reacts after winning a point against Kevin Anderson during the US Open men's singles final in NY on Sunday.
It was a ruthless demolition job by a man playing his 23rd Grand Slam final, up against an opponent in his first. At 19, he won the 2005 French Open in his debut, the first of nine Grand Slam titles in 10 years he would claim on the red clay of Roland Garros, cementing a legacy as the greatest player ever seen on the surface.
At No. 32, Anderson was the lowest-ranked U.S. Open men's finalist since the ATP computer rankings began in 1973. Andre Agassi was No. 20 when he won in 1994.
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