When 27-year old Milwaukee native, Tim Smyczek, qualified for the Australian Open, he was just happy to be there. When he found out he had to face #3 ranked Rafael Nadal in the second round, he thought he had no chance. But when he took Nadal to five sets and then gave him a “do-over” on a serve when the match was on the line, he became sportsmanship personified.

After losing the first set 2-6, Smyczek came roaring back to steal the next two sets against one of the greatest players in the sport of tennis. After Nadal won the fourth set, the athletes were tied at 5-5 in the fifth and final set and after playing for over four hours, fatigue was starting to set in. With Nadal up 30-0 in the fifth and final set, a fan yelled loudly during Nadal’s serve, which was a fault. Smyczek immediately told the line judge that the serve didn’t have to count and Nadal waved in gratitude.

The crowd quickly acknowledged Smyczek’s display of sportsmanship and stood and cheered. After the match, Nadal, with tears in his eyes said:

“I want to congratulate Tim. He’s a real gentleman. Not a lot of people will do this at 6-5 in the fifth.”

Nadal is still recovering from undergoing an appendectomy in November and not practicing for 6 weeks. He won his first match of the tournament easily and struggled against Smyczek in the second, but with Djokovic out and Federer falling, Nadal could still win the first grand slam title of the year.