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Anderson Explains Nadal's Greatness

Kevin Anderson understands Rafael Nadal’s championship character better than most.

The world No. 1 demolished first-time major finalist Anderson, 6-3, 6-3, 6-4, to win his third US Open crown and first hard-court title since Doha in January of 2014.

Watch: Nadal Dominates, Wins 16th Grand Slam Title

It was Nadal’s fifth win over the 6’8” South African in as many meetings giving Anderson unique insight into Nadal’s skill set.

What’s at the core of Nadal’s greatness?

Anderson attributes the 16-time Grand Slam champion’s success to consistency, competitiveness, intensity and the pure passion he brings to every point.

“Definitely the first one, as I said quite a few times, is his competitiveness, consistency at that level. He never goes away,” Anderson said of Nadal. “I have seen so many times where he's maybe down a break and he's able to play every single point at such a high intensity.

“A lot of guys sometimes, you know, you might see them get angry at a line call and suddenly they start playing better tennis. I have never seen him -- some external factor and suddenly he's bringing better tennis. He brings that high energy every single point. I think that's probably one of the biggest ones.”

Anderson said Nadal’s impeccable performance in the final illustrated his ability to transition from defense to offense smoothly.

“It goes without saying his ground strokes, his movements, defensive skills, it all comes together,” Anderson said. “I think he blended that very well tonight against me. He was, you know, played a lot of defense when he needed to. Any time you leave a ball hanging for him, he's really able to take advantage of it.”

Photo credit: US Open Facebook