It was a weekend of dreams for Rafael Nadal and Sloane Stephens at the U.S. Open.
Nadal won the men's championship with his decisive 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Kevin Anderson of South Africa, while Stephens earned the women's title when she beat Madison Keys in Saturday's title match at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, New York.
Nadal was the top seed on the men's side and No. 1 ranked player in the world, and he was heavily favored to beat Anderson.
Stephens was another story. She was unseeded in the tournament and ranked 957th in the world July 31. Nevertheless, she overcame surgery earlier this year to beat Venus Williams in the semifinals and Keys for the title.
Nadal seemed to have an easy track through the tournament since stars like Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and 2016 champion Stan Wawrinka were unable to compete as a result of injuries.
Nadal and No. 3 seed Roger Federer appeared to be on a collision course to meet in the semifinals, but Juan Martin del Potro eliminated the all-time great Swiss champion in the quarterfinals.
Nadal lost the first set in his semifinal match against del Potro before rolling through the next three sets. Nadal's dominance was even more thorough in his straight-set title win over Anderson.
The 31-year-old Nadal has won 16 Grand Slam titles in his career, including three U.S. Opens. Nadal and Federer each won two Grand Slams this year, as Nadal won the French and U.S. Opens, while Federer won the Australian Open and Wimbledon.
Federer has won 19 Grand Slam titles in his career.
Both Nadal and Stephens received sizable paychecks as a result of their victories. The winners were paid $3.7 million each for their triumphs, while the two championship match losers earned $1.825 million for their performances throughout the run of the tournament, per the U.S. Open website.
Stephens became wide-eyed when she was handed her prize, and Keys was also amazed. Stephens reached for Keys, as if she were going to fall down after seeing the amount on the check. Stephens and Keys then played to the crowd.
"That's a lot of money!" Stephens said, per Howard Fendrich of the Associated Press (h/t Boston Globe).
"I'll hold it for her," Keys responded.
Semifinalists received $920,000 for reaching that round, while quarterfinalists earned $470,000 each.