Rafael Nadal has joined Roger Federer on the sidelines at the Australian Open, taking their combined 31 Grand Slam singles titles with them.
For more than four hours, Tim Smyczek fought desperately for every point against Nadal at the Australian Open. Then, in the fifth set, he gave his opponent a break.
Tenth seed Kei Nishikori became the first Japanese player in the Open Era to advance to a Grand Slam semifinal with a five-set win over 2014 Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka 3-6, 7-5, 7-6, 6-7, 6-4.
It’s the calm before the excitement begins at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows where 700,000 fans are expected to fill the stands over the next two weeks.
It’s only the fourth time in the Open era, which began in 1968, that the reigning U.S. Open men’s champion is not in the field.
By now, everyone knows Roger Federer’s itinerary for Cincinnati: Get his game in order, raise the winner’s trophy, leave town with a lot of confidence for the US Open.
Rafael Nadal withdrew Wednesday from U.S. Open tuneups in Toronto and Cincinnati because of a right wrist injury, putting in doubt his status for a title defense at the year’s last Grand Slam tournament.
The “King of Clay” proved that again on Sunday, winning the title at Roland Garros for the ninth time, and the fifth time in a row, by beating Novak Djokovic 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 in the final.
Agassi made the comments in an interview with Singapore newspaper Straits Times, saying Nadal’s achievements are more impressive because he has had to deal with tougher opponents.
Stan 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.
He completed his 23rd win in 33 head-to-heads, and ninth in 11 Grand Slam matches, 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-3 in 2 hours and 24 minutes against the 17-time major winner.
The 27-year-old Spaniard, out last year with a knee injury, came back with a vengeance, winning his eighth French Open title in June and his second US Open title, taking home $3.6 million in prize money Monday night in Flushing.
Looking fit as can be, and tough as — maybe even better than — ever, No. 2-ranked Rafael Nadal pulled away from No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 on Monday in a taut, tense U.S. Open final.
The stakes are always high, the encounters always memorable. Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have built the best rivalry in tennis on a mountain of big-time matches, the likes of which they’ll play Monday in the US Open final.
Even though Djokovic won, the crowd was so impressed with Wawrinka’s effort and game, they gave him a well-deserved long-standing ovation after the match.