Nadal pays an emotional tribute to uncle Toni

An emotional Rafael Nadal paid tribute to uncle Toni following his three-set victory over Kevin Anderson in the US Open final.

Rafael Nadal won his 16th Grand Slam title at the US Open.   -  Getty Images

The US Open capped a "remarkable" and "emotional" year for world No. 1 Rafael Nadal, who paid tribute to uncle Toni following his victory over Kevin Anderson in New York on Sunday.

Nadal's resurgence in 2017 continued at Flushing Meadows as he accounted for 28th seed Anderson 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 in the US Open final.

The 31-year-old was a class above against Anderson – who made his first appearance in a Grand Slam final – as he captured his 16th major title and third US Open crown in the Big Apple to move within three of Roger Federer's record.

Nadal struggled with injuries and form in recent years but the veteran returned to his best in 2017, winning an unprecedented 10th French Open and now the US Open.

"For me, personally, it's just unbelievable what happened this year," Nadal said during his on-court interview.

"After a couple of years with some troubles, injuries, some moments playing not good, since the beginning of the season it has been very, very emotional because since the first important event of the year in Australia, I think I have been playing a very high level of tennis and closed the Grand Slam year winning here in New York.

"That's one of the events that brings me to the higher energy of the world because the crowd here is unbelievable, just make me feel so, so happy. I can just say thanks to life for that opportunity, thank you very much to my family and my team, they are out there, and all the people who make this event possible – the organisers, volunteers, everyone who makes the US Open feel a little bit like home."

Nadal's remarkable success, however, would not have been possible without uncle Toni.

His last slam tournament as Nadal's full-time coach resulted in another joyous celebration on Arthur Ashe and the Spaniard said: "I can't thank him enough for all the things that he did for me.

"Probably without him I would never be playing tennis and it's great that I had somebody like him pushing me all the time. I think because he was strong and he had a great motivation to practice with me since I was a kid, I was able to get through all the problems that I had during my career in terms of injuries.

"That makes me stronger and I can just say thank you very much to him because he's for sure one of the most important people in my life."

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