Rafael Nadal won th U.S. Open on Sunday, the 16th Grand Slam title in his career.
Given Nadal's victory at the French Open and Roger Federer's at Melbourne and Wimbledon, it would seem the famed Big Four, who between them have won nearly all the Slams since Federer won the first of his eight Wimbledon titles in 2003, are down to two.
Coming back from hampering injuries last season, the two legends dominated all three slams throughout the year and were set to clash once again in the semifinals of the US Open, or so fans thought.
At No. 32, Anderson was the lowest-ranked U.S. Open men's finalist since the ATP computer rankings began in 1973.
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.
Kevin Anderson, of South Africa, reacts after giving up a point to Rafael Nadal, of Spain, during the men's singles final of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017, in NY.
At 17, Nadal won his first match against Federer. The Swiss won in Australia and at Wimbledon while the Spaniard collected his 10th French Open title and a third at Flushing Meadows.
"Doesn't matter if you are seeded one or seeded 20, for me always is special to play here in a tournament that I had success, a tournament where I enjoyed a lot of good matches and I have a great connection with the crowd". "This isn't the result I wanted but I'll keep fighting and I'll be back".
A major reason for the Spaniard's resurgence this year - that includes two Grand Slams, five titles and return to world No. 1 - has been his willingness to embrace change, a little bit of tweaking both on and off the court.
Seems safe to say that, at age 31, he is once again the Nadal of old.
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.
Federer now holds the record for the most Grand Slam titles with 19 but Nadal's triumph in NY took him to within three of his rival.
Before reaching the finals on Sunday, Nadal faced Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro in the semi-finals.
The Spanish Rafael Nadal celebrates his victory against South African Kevin Anderson. I just do my way. I don't know if he even cares about that, ' Cash added. Not only is she now a bona-fide grand- slam champion, but she may now be the No.1 commercial entity in women's tennis.
But the physical and emotional toll of overcoming Federer two days ago ultimately caught up to the Argentine, as he ran out of steam against a relentless Nadal.