22-time Major champion Rafael Nadal entered the US Open fourth-round clash against Frances Tiafoe with a perfect record at Majors in 2022. The Spaniard earned the 23rd straight win at the most notable scene, but the home favorite had other plans. .
Tiafoe defeated Nadal 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in three hours and 34 minutes for a place in the quarterfinals. Thus, Tiafoe has kept his dreams of becoming the first local player with the US Open crown in 19 years alive. Frances gave it her all in the best win 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. On the other hand, the youngster stole the veteran’s serve five times from eight chances, improving his return game after failing to break Rafa in his two matches in 2019.
Rafa hit 33 game winners and 26 unforced errors, but it wasn’t enough to keep him safe.
Frances Tiafoe ousted Rafael Nadal at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
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. She faced no break points and kept the pressure on the other side. Nadal experienced a break in game seven and allowed the rival to close out the set with a 5-4 lead.
The Spaniard received a medical timeout on his wrists and raised his level in the second set, dropping just five points in five service games. Tiafoe returned to serve at 44% and was unable to keep his serve intact. 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.
Returners scored just 13 points in the third set, and Tiafoe did enough to make the crucial difference. The American held with ease through five service games and stole the Spaniard’s serve at 3-3 to carve out the lead. Frances clinched the set on serve from him 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. Nadal will become number one in the world. 1 next Monday if Carlos Alcaraz and Casper Ruud fail to reach the final.