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ICYMI at US Open — Rafael Nadal takes another bite, tastes 16th Grand Slam title


Well, there’s a reason why Rafael Nadal is No. 1 in the world. He dispatched of South African Kevin Anderson in straight sets to win his third US Open title and his 16th Grand Slam. We know he likes to take a bite out of the Big Apple keepsake and all his other sweet 16 hardware.

They’re real, Rafa! But we still love it.

This is Nadal’s second major win of the year after the French Open in June. As for Wimbledon and Australia, those went to Roger Federer, who has won 19 Grand Slams.

Up high? Nope, down low is the way these two winners roll.

As for Big Kev, after his loss he gave a lovely acknowledgment to Nadal.

After losing in his first major final, Kevin Anderson, born 5/18/86, directed his first comment in the trophy ceremony to the US Open winner, Rafael Nadal, born 6/3/86. “I know we’re the same age, but I feel like I’ve been watching you my whole life.” Anderson, whose finalist check is more than double his previous YTD earnings of $884,378, said Nadal is an idol of his.

William Weinbaum, ESPN


Not that Anderson didn’t have his backers. By the looks of this envelope stack, the Fighting Illini alum had plenty of people pulling for him in the stands.

Vamos Rafa

Nadal received his share of kudos from fellow countrymen and one of the most storied futbol teams ever.



Ashe illuminati

How many A-list celebs can you fit in a box? Turns out, quite a few: Oscar winner Hilary Swank (middle left), Emmy winner Candice Bergen (top left), Grammy winner Tony Bennett (middle right) and some up-and-coming comedian named Jerry Seinfeld (top right). Noticeably absent? Milos.

And we have to give props to Christie Brinkley for rocking an actual throwback tennis sweater to a tennis final.

But our favorite brooding outsider, Matt Dillon, somehow scored the best seat in the house next to women’s champ Sloane Stephens. Stay gold, Ponyboy! Wait, he was Dallas, but just to put things in perspective, Stephens was born a decade after “The Outsiders” hit theaters. Maybe she’s a fan of another Dillon movie, “There’s Something About Mary”? Well, she was only 5 years old when it was released.

Other notables who were repeat Open attendees and who took in Rafa’s win on Sunday: Bill Gates, Tiger Woods, Vera Wang and Debra Messing, the Grace half of “Will & Grace.”

Maje Martina

In the non-Ashe courts, Martina Hingis also had herself a weekend, winning her 24th and 25th Grand Slam titles with victories in mixed-doubles on Saturday and women’s doubles on Sunday.

Who’s got next?

As if the four women’s semifinalists being from the U.S. wasn’t enough to prove that American tennis is not only climbing but thriving, the girls’ final came down to two on-the-rise Floridians. Amanda Anisimova, 16, won her first junior Grand Slam singles title against 13-year-old (yes, 13) CoCo Gauff. Not to be greedy, but we could totally get used to this.

Wonder women

Speaking of getting used to things, we’re still processing sizzling Stephens and her comeback story this year for her first major championship.

And in the comrade congrats category, mad respect to Madison Keys and her response in defeat.

Until next year, New York! This one’s been real.



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