'Beating Rafael Nadal Felt Crazy,' Frances Tiafoe Says

«Beating Rafael Nadal was crazy,» says Frances Tiafoe


Frances Tiafoe was one of the players to watch at this year’s US Open. Feeling the vibes in front of the partisan crowd, the American advanced to the first Major semi-final before falling to Carlos Alcaraz in five sets.

Tiafoie picked up a massive victory over 22-time Major winner Rafael Nadal in the fourth round, becoming the only player to defeat the Spaniard at Majors in 2022! Tiafoe defeated Nadal 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in three hours and 34 minutes for a place in the quarterfinals.

Frances gave it her all in the best victory of her career at Arthur Ashe Stadium, playing bold and aggressive tennis and winning ten points more than Rafa. The American fired 18 aces and fended off four of six break chances to keep the pressure on the other side.

The youngster stole the veteran’s serve five times from eight chances, upping his return game after failing to break Rafa in his two matches in 2019. Rafa hit 33 winners and 26 unforced errors, but it wasn’t enough to force a decider.

Tiafoe threw it all in and shot 49 game winners and 28 unforced errors, outclassing the legend and setting up the quarter-final clash against Andrey Rublev. Frances served at 44% in the first match and no one could tell.

He did not face any break points and broke Rafa in game seven. The Spaniard received a medical timeout on his wrists and raised his level in the second set, losing just five points in five service games. Tiafoe returned to serve at 44% and was unable to keep his serve intact.

Frances Tiafoe defeated Rafael Nadal in four sets at the US Open.

After eight dominant holds on both sides, Rafa held after deuce for 5-4 and delivered his first break in the next to close out the set and level the overall score.

The American held with ease in all five service games of the third set and stole serve from the Spaniard at 3-3 to carve out the lead. Frances clinched the set on her serve in game ten to move two sets to one in front and gain momentum.

Nadal made the last push in the fourth game of the fourth set to open a 3-1 lead. Tiafoe broke in the next one, surviving break points at 2-3 and delivering another break in game seven for a 4-3 lead. Rafa served to stay in the match at 3-5 and had nothing else left in the tank, experiencing the third break in a row and propelling Frances into the last eight.

«I haven’t even let it sink in yet, honestly. Those were the craziest two weeks of my life, things you dream of doing. I felt a little short after that tight loss. I got to the fourth round in New York for three years in a row, which is already a good achievement.

I am the only player who beat Rafa Nadal in Majors this year and has won two titles. Beating him at Majors is never an easy task, and I did it in front of the hometown crowd in New York. He felt crazy,» said Frances Tiafoe.

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