Stat of the week
Nadal's 2008 record against left-handers. He is 36-3 against lefties overall; his last loss was in Sydney in January 2007 when he retired down 6-5 in the first set to Australia's Chris Guccione
. Luxembourg's lefty giant-killer, Gilles Muller
, toppled Nadal in the second round of Wimbledon in 2005, and fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez
won on carpet in Basel, Switzerland in 2003.
Natural lefties who learned to play right-handed include Ken Rosewall, Carlos Moya
, Kimiko Date and Margaret Smith Court, who told a television interviewer in 2006: "I sometimes wish I'd have stayed lefty, I probably would have had a better serve.'' Moya has made similar comments. Maria Sharapova
, who sometimes changes hands in mid-rally, began her tennis life as a lefty but converted at age 10.
Revenge of the righties
Left-handed men owned the U.S. Open from 1974-84, winning 11 consecutive titles led by Jimmy Connors (5) and John McEnroe (4), while Manuel Orantes and Guillermo Vilas each took one. The righty edge since then? We're afraid it's 24-love.