Rafael Nadal
Nadal celebrates his second major championship of the year.Getty

Rafael Nadal has won his 16th Grand Slam title after sweeping past Kevin Anderson in the US Open final.

The Spaniard celebrates his third success at Flushing Meadows after thrashing South Africa's Anderson 6-3 6-3 6-4 to secure his second major championship of 2017.

In what has been a remarkable resurgence, Nadal reached the final of the Australian Open in January before winning his first major title in three years at the French Open in May. Last month, he completed his return to the summit of men's tennis, replacing Andy Murray as the top of the ATP rankings.

The 31-year-old is now three Grand Slams behind Roger Federer's all-time haul of 19. Like Nadal, Federer has won two major titles in 2017; winning in Melbourne at the start of the year before scooping his eighth Wimbledon title.

Having dispatched Juan Martin del Potro in magnificent fashion to reach the final, Nadal's biggest challenge against Anderson, an old friend he has known since their days together in the junior ranks, was to find an answer to the 31-year-old huge serve.

If Anderson was going to win his maiden Grand Slam, he was going to have to do it by becoming the lowest-ranked US Champion of all-time after being seeded at number 28. But the contest followed a predictable script; Nadal dominated from the start, breaking his opponent four times and didn't face a single break point himself as he clinched victory in two hours and 27 minutes.

After taking a decisive break to move 4-3 ahead, Nadal wrapped up the opening set in just under an hour before surrendering just three points on serve on his way to taking the second after breaking his opponent in the sixth game.

Anderson, wilting after series of unforced errors, needed to summon something special to halt the Spaniard but was broken again in the first game of the third set.

Speaking after his triumph, Nadal paid tribute to his uncle and long-time coach Toni Nadal. "I can't thank Toni enough for everything he has done for me. Without him I don't think I would be playing tennis. He has had great commitment to training with me since I was three and he is one of the most important people in my life."