tennis • Rafael Nadal extended his sizzling summer with a first-time title. One set away from a breakthrough of her own, No. 1 Serena Williams wilted.
Nadal took advantage of the few openings he got against John Isner on Sunday in Cincinnati, grinding out a 7-6 (8), 7-6 (3) win at the Western & Southern Open. The 27-year-old Spaniard won the championship in Montreal a week ago and has back-to-back hard-court championships for the first time in his illustrious career. He'd never even reached the finals in Cincinnati.
Williams dominated the first set, then fell apart, giving No. 2 Victoria Azarenka a chance to rally for a 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 (6) win.