US Open: How the men’s and women’s finals were settled
And a look ahead to the Australian Open
Rafael Nadal swept aside Kevin Anderson to win the men’s US Open title last night. It was Nadal’s third triumph at Flushing Meadows and his 16th Grand Slam in total.
The final was a totally one-sided contest and Nadal won in straight sets. Anderson just couldn’t compete with Nadal’s quality or fitness.
The Spaniard only lost 15 points on serve during the entire match and didn’t have to face a single break point.
It’s been a remarkable season for Nadal. He won a a record 10th French Open title back in June. It’s the first time he’s won two of the four big tournaments in the same year since 2013.
His success is even more impressive as he ended his 2016 season early because of injury. At the time, there were doubts over whether he would be able to return to his best. He’s decisively answered those questions.
Nadal’s great rival Roger Federer won the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year.
They were expected to face each other at the US Open for the first time in this year’s semi-finals. However, Federer lost to Juan Martin del Potro in the last eight. The 36-year-old had struggled with a back injury in the build-up to the tournament.
In the women’s draw, Sloane Stephens completed her own remarkable comeback to win on Saturday.
The 24-year-old missed 11 months of action and had surgery in January to recover from a stress fracture in her right foot.
It only took Stephens 61 minutes to beat fellow American Madison Keys 6-3 6-0 in the final.
She was ranked 957 in the world just six weeks ago but has now won 15 of her 17 matches since returning to fitness.
The Florida-born player’s superb tournament has seen her climb to number 17 in the rankings.
Looking ahead to next season, the Australian Open gets underway in January.
A lot can change between now and then, but Federer is currently favourite to retain his title in the men’s draw. He’s at 11/4 on Coral.
Nadal has only won the Australian Open once before and he’s 3/1 to do it for a second time next year.
There have been reports that Serena Williams could return to action in Melbourne to defend her title after giving birth.
If she does, her main challenger could be current world number 1 Garbine Muguruza at 5/1.
Maria Sharapova should be closer to her best in January. Coral put the Russian at 7/1.
Stephens is 12/1 to pull off another shock win in Australia.
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