Stanislas Wawrinka added a win over Rafael Nadal to his list of firsts in a stunning run to his maiden Grand Slam title, extending his rival’s injury-cursed run at the Australian Open with a 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 upset in Sunday’s final.
The 28-year-old Wawrinka had never taken a set off Nadal in 12 previous meetings, but attacked from the start against the 13-time major winner and regained his nerve after dropping the third set against the injured Spaniard.
Nadal appeared to be on the verge of retiring in the second set, when he hurt his back and needed a medical time out, but he refused to quit.
“It’s really not the way you want to win a tennis match, but in a Grand Slam final I’ll take it,” said Wawrinka, the first man in 21 years to beat the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked players en route to a Grand Slam title. (Photos: Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images, Paul Crock/AFP/Getty Images)
Tennis players around the world have learned plenty from Rafael Nadal.
On Tuesday, Nadal learned something from Conner Stroud.
Stroud, a 12-year-old from Spindale, N.C., was born without hips, ankles, femurs or knees. Encouraged by parents who wouldn’t allow their son’s disability to hold him back, Stroud has been playing against able-bodied kids in local tennis tournaments, winning a couple and inspiring people young and old.
Stroud visited the U.S. Open and spent some time with Nadal, who signed autographs and chatted with the youngster outside Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“The most important thing is that he’s happy,” Nadal said. “He’s able to keep practicing the sport. He’s playing tennis. That’s great for him, for the family. That’s a great example that you can be happy even if life doesn’t give you everything. It’s a big example for me and should be a big example for a lot of people.” (Photos: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images, Bob Leverone/Getty Images, Dave Dellinger/The Associated Press/USTA)
Milos Raonic called it a learning experience.
It certainly wasn’t the victory party the Uniprix Stadium crowd was hoping for as Rafael Nadal took only one hour eight minutes to down Canada’s top tennis player 6-2, 6-2 in the US$3.49 million Rogers Cup final on Sunday.
But it had taken 55 years for a Canadian just to get to the final of the country’s biggest tournament, so Raonic had much to celebrate despite the defeat. (Photos: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images, Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)