Sunday, September 10, 2017

Nadal dominates Anderson for 16th major title

Rafael Nadal, playing at Indian Wells in March, beat Kevin Anderson
6-3, 6-3, 6-4 today for his third U.S. Open title. Photo by Mal Taam
   It had all the suspense of a trip to the dry cleaner.
   Top-ranked Rafael Nadal coasted past 28th-seeded Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 today in the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., for his second Grand Slam singles title of the year and 16th overall. Nadal, 31, ranks second behind 36-year-old Roger Federer, who has 19 Slams.
   It was Nadal's third U.S. Open title and first since 2013. Because of injuries, he failed to advance past the quarterfinals of 10 consecutive majors from Wimbledon in 2014 through last year's U.S. Open.
   "Of course, after a couple of years without competing at this very high, high level," Nadal told reporters, "very happy to be back."
   Anderson, a 31-year-old South African, capitalized on a depleted draw to become the tallest Grand Slam finalist in history at 6-foot-8 (2.03 meters. The top five players in the 2006 year-end rankings -- Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Milos Raonic, Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori -- missed the tournament with injuries.
   At No. 32, Anderson was the lowest-ranked U.S. Open men's finalist since the ATP computer rankings began in 1973.
   Anderson has played extensively in Northern California, beginning with his NCAA doubles title in the 2006 tournament at Stanford as an Illinois junior. The following year, he reached the final of a $15,000 Futures tournament in Loomis in the Sacramento area, losing to since-retired American Scoville Jenkins.
   In 2012, Anderson advanced to the quarterfinals of the SAP Open in his only appearance in San Jose and played part-time for the Sacramento Capitals in World TeamTennis. The SAP Open and Capitals folded after the 2013 season.
   Junior girls -- Not only did the United States sweep the women's semifinal berths, two Americans met in the girls singles final.
   Fourth-seeded Amanda Anisimova overpowered unseeded Cori Gauff 6-0, 6-2 in a matchup of 16- and 13-year-old potential superstars, respectively.
   Anisimova, 5-foot-10 (1.83 meters), won the $60,000 Sacramento Challenger in July for her first professional title. She turned pro last September shortly after turning 15.
   Anisimova was born in Freehold Township, N.J., to Russians Konstantin Anisimov and Olga Anisimova. Amanda speaks Russian at home in Aventura, Fla., but has never been to her parents' homeland.
   Junior boys -- No. 2 Yibing Wu of China beat No. 1 Axel Geller, a Stanford freshman from Argentina, 6-4, 6-4 for the title. Geller also was the runner-up at Wimbledon in July.

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