Paul Brady is just one win away from tying the all-time record for US Nationals wins as he takes on Galway's Martin Mulkerrins in this evening's final.
The Cavanman needs just one more win to tie the record held by Mexican legend Naty Alvarado Sr and has been in superb form at the tournament in Los Angeles.
Brady cruised through the early rounds against Justin Bauer of Colorado, Californian Braulio Ruiz and Mexican Luis Cordova before dismantling veteran left-hander David Fink (21-1, 21-3) in last night’s semi-final.
Standing in Brady’s way is 26-year-old Galway star Martin Mulkerrins. The Moycullen man, who was the All-Ireland Senior Singles champion in 2018 and reached the final of last year’s World Championships, tore through the upper half of the draw before despatching Carroll with an awesome display last night.
Mulkerrins’ powerful drives with both hands kept the Mallow native off balance and out of centre-court. After winning the first 21-13, the Galwegian appeared to tire late in game two – a memorable 39-shot rally, which he won, certainly contributing – but he hung on to win and reach his second US Nationals decider.
Mulkerrins’ maiden final in the competition came six years ago today, when he ran into a prime Brady and got blitzed, 21-3, 21-4.
Such a reversal is highly unlikely this evening. While Mulkerrins has certainly exerted himself more on the path to the final, he is 13 years the former Cavan footballer’s junior which should even things to an extent.
A final for the ages is expected, with Brady the favourite to tie the record currently held by ‘El Gato’ and affirm the widely-held view that he is the greatest player the sport has ever produced.
The final will be streamed live at 8pm Irish time at the player below: