World number one Nadal is now within three of Federer in that regard, but he is not overly concerned about overtaking his great rival before bringing an end to his highly successful career.
"I really never thought much about that," he told reporters. "I just do my way. He does his way. Let's see when we finish. Of course, if I will win two Grand Slams this year and he will not win, we'll be closer, but he has 19, I have 16. So three is a big difference.
"I'm very happy with all the things that are happening to me, winning this title again. I have this trophy with me. It's so important, winning on hard court again. That's a lot of positive energy for me. Being healthy, you see everything more possible. With injuries, everything seems impossible.
"It's true that I am 31, I am not 25, but I still have the passion and the love for the game. I still want to compete and still feel the nerves every time that I go on court. While those things keep happening, I will be here."
Nadal has now prevailed three times at the US Open following previous victories in 2010 and 2013.