Aussie wild-card entry Alun Jones, No. 123 in the world, had more than his 15 minutes of fame yesterday at the U.S. Open. The 27-year-old career minor leaguer took it to Rafael Nadal for the better part of two hours before succumbing to the gimpy No. 2 seed in four hard-fought sets. Nadal, his left knee heavily taped and limited in his movement, prevailed 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in two hours and 44 minutes. But Jones, a gritty grinder on the Challenger Circuit with but a 2-5 record in tour-level events, led 4-1 in the first set and was up a break at 4-3 in the third. Until Wednesday, the Aussie’s best claim to fame was a bit part in the movie “Wimbledon.” Clearly, Jones’ effort had Nadal on the ropes, despite the Spaniard not being his usual self. Former great John McEnroe, post match, said, “Alun Jones played like he’s top 50 in the world.” For at least one day he was. This is the kind of stuff that makes men’s tennis so riveting. On any given day, anything can happen.
Jones Almost Punches Nadal’s Ticket
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