WATCH: Joyous scenes as Brady ties US Nationals record

Story by Paul Fitzpatrick

Sunday, 30th June, 2019 8:04pm

WATCH: Joyous scenes as Brady ties US Nationals record

Paul Brady reacts after the winning point.

In 20 years at the top of his sport, Paul Brady has picked up countless honours. None, though, could have tasted as sweet as this.

Coming into this week's US Nationals, the Cavanman, for the first time since 2002, did not hold any of the major titles in the sport, in singles or doubles. 

But the five-time world champion completed a remarkable comeback at Los Caballeros, outside Los Angeles, on Saturday when he cruised to a record-equalling 11th Open Singles crown. It was the stuff of fairytales.

The 39-year-old right-hander won this title 10 times between 2005 and 2015 (missing out only due to injury in 2009) but remained agonisingly one short of the record following three successive defeats.

The emergence of Boston-based Corkman Killian Carroll seemed to mark the end of the Brady era but the veteran rolled back the years to storm to an emphatic victory on Saturday night when he saw off Galway's former All-Ireland senior champion Martin Mulkerrins in the final.

Brady first won the title - one of three 'Majors' in the sport - in Houston, Texas with a win over a then-43-year-old Canadian Danny Bell. Along the way, he has won finals against Californian Emmett Peixoto, the late David Chapman of Missouri and Cork's Tony Healy among others but, of them all, Carroll - a sensational retriever whose athleticism is unrivalled in the game - has come through as Brady's most intense rival.

The duo seemed set on a collision course to meet in the final but the hard-hitting, gutsy Mulkerrins had other ideas.

The Moycullen man ousted Carroll in the semi-final while Brady dismantled American David Fink, who had surprisingly knocked out the fancied Sean Lenning. Suddenly, the way seemed clearer than it had been in some time for Brady and the former Breffni footballer didn't need to be asked twice once the door opened.

Brady was always in control in the final, pinning the 26-year-old Connemara man back with powerful pass shots and nerveless kills in front court.

Afterwards, Brady - who turns 40 in September - hinted that he will return next year for an assault on a 12th title.

"I put so much into this, nobody knows how much I was hurting. I was determined that it couldn't end like that," he said.   

Brady showed a rare outburst of emotion after scoring the final point which proved just how much this one meant to him. 

Watch Brady's reaction to the winning point:

 

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