Ecstatic after lifting his 16th career Grand Slam trophy at this year's US Open, world number one Rafael Nadal has admitted that the victory at the Flushing Meadows means a lot to him after an extremely emotional season.
Nadal raced to a third US Open title after easing past 28th-seeded Kevin Anderson of South Africa 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 win in a one-sided summit showdown that lasted two hours and 27 minutes.
Admitting that it has been a great two weeks in New York, the Spanish maestro said that he is satisfied with the way he had handled the pressure and competed throughout the entire event.
"It has been a great two weeks. Increasing level of tennis and increasing confidence during that two weeks. I have this trophy with me again here in New York. It means a lot to me. There is no better way to finish the Grand Slam season for me after a very emotional season in all aspects," the ATP website quoted Nadal, as saying.
"So I'm very happy the way I played, happy the way I managed the pressure and the way I was competing during the whole event. Playing better or worse, the competitive spirit has been there in a very positive way all the time," he added.
Anderson, on the other hand, described Nadal as 'one of the greatest ambassadors in the sport,' while adding that he is feeling great to make it to his first final of a Grand Slam.
"Rafa is one of the greatest ambassadors in our sport, so congrats to him. It's been an amazing two weeks for me. To make my first final of a Grand Slam has really been special. I can take a lot of positive from this summer. A lot of emotions to deal with. I was up against a pretty good opponent today," he said.
"I'll continue working hard to give myself more opportunities. I'll take it a day at a time and I'm really pleased with how things turned out here," Anderson added.
Having missed much of the second half of the last season nursing a wrist injury, Nadal has been stupendous in this season.
He had reached the Australian Open final before winning the French Open, his first Grand Slam in three years. The Spaniard had regained the number one ranking last month.
The Spaniard now stands at 16-7 in Grand Slam finals, and that this is the fourth time in his career that he has taken home at least two Grand Slam trophies in a season.
Prior to this US Open, Nadal had not clinched a hard-court title since 2014, at the tournament in Doha, Qatar.