There’s apparently no stopping Rafael Nadal this summer…
Despite some powerful serves from John Isner, the 27-year-old Spanish tennis star managed to come away with another hard-court title.
Nadal took advantage of the few openings he got on Sunday against the highest-ranked American, grinding out a 7-6 (8), 7-6 (3) win at the Western & Southern Open that added yet another title to his sensational summer.
He won the title in Montreal a week ago and now has back-to-back hard-court championships for the first time in his illustrious career. He’d never even reached the finals in Cincinnati before this year.
When his backhand down the line finished it off, Nadal flopped on his back in joy.
“It means a lot winning two straight titles on hard (courts),” Nadal said. “It’s just amazing for me. I never did something like this in my career.
“So it was an emotional moment.”
Heading into the U.S. Open, there’s no doubt about who has the most momentum — the one with the two new additions to the trophy case.
“I would say Rafa is the favorite going to the U.S.,” Isner said. “Clear-cut? I wouldn’t say that. I think he’d probably say the same.”
Nadal’s five Masters titles this season are a career best. He’s now tied with Novak Djokovic for most Masters titles in a season since 1990. He’s won seven of the nine Masters events during his career.
Nadal has dominated the tour after overcoming a knee injury that sidelined him for the last part of 2012. The win on Sunday gave him a career-best mark of 53-3 this season. He’s reached the finals in 11 of his last 12 tournaments, underscoring his consistent excellence.