This is the first installment of our weekly series highlighting stories relevant to the Winston-Salem Open and the wider world of tennis
Local Boy Featured in Tennis Magazine’s Heroes Issue
Thirteen-year-old Conner Stroud, from Spindale, N.C., got to meet his hero Rafael Nadal at this year’s US Open. Now he’s being honored as a hero in his own right with a feature article in Tennis Magazine’s Heroes Issue.
Born with Bilateral Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency that left him without hips, femur bones, knees, or ankles, Stroud put aside his disability to take up the game of tennis and won a couple tournaments against able-bodied children.
Conner’s dedication to tennis has been an inspiration to many, including fans at the 2013 Winston-Salem Open, where he participated in the USTA’s Adaptive Tennis Demonstration on Center Court during a night session.
WSO Alums Marrero and Verdasco Win Final Showdown
The No. 3 seeds in this year’s Winston-Salem Open doubles draw, Spaniards David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco earned one of the greatest accomplishments of their career Monday, beating the Bryan brothers 7-5, 6-7(3), 10-7 to capture the doubles title at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
Verdasco fought off three set points on his serve at 4-5 in the opening set as the Spanish duo rallied to win the next three games to take the opening frame. After dropping the second set in a tiebreak, Marrerro and Verdasco took an early lead in the deciding match tiebreak and held onto it to win their second doubles title together this year and their sixth together overall.
"It was a special victory," Verdasco told ATPWorldTour.com after the match. “You don't win a tournament like this every day. I am really going to try to enjoy it. I think it's the best way to go on holidays.”
Watch Marrero and Verdasco's Postmatch Interview
Djokovic Wins World Tour Finals; Nadal Retains No. 1 Ranking
The 2013 ATP World Tour came to a close Monday when Novak Djokovic topped Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-4 at the O2 in London to win the year-end championship for the third time. The Serb dominated the post-US Open events, ending the season on a 22-match winning streak that will leave him confident when the Tour starts up against in January.
Djokovic’s win wasn’t enough to knock Nadal off of the top of the Emirates ATP Rankings though, as the Spaniard ended the year as the World No. 1 for the third time and the first since 2010.
That Nadal was able to finish in the top position despite not playing the Australian Open and losing in the first round of Wimbledon is a testament to his domination in the year’s other events. He won Roland Garros and the US Open in addition to capturing five ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles, posting an overall singles record of 75-7 this year.
Isner, Roddick to Headline Ebix Charity Challenge in Greensboro Next Month
Two-time Winston-Salem Open champion John Isner will join Andy Roddick and Justin Gimelstob in Greensboro on Dec. 7 for the Ebix Charity Challenge, which raises money for the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.
To purchase tickets, visit the event’s webpage.