Rafael Nadal has played many incredible matches in the past two decades. Always ready to fight to the last point, the Spaniard has made some notable comebacks, including in this year’s Australian Open final.
Interestingly, Nadal has yet to make a remarkable comeback in New York, never winning the US Open match after losing two sets to one! Rafa is 3-2 in all five sets at the US Open, but those wins have always come from two sets to one or two sets to love the advantage.
The Spaniard lost two of the first three sets seven times in New York, and he has yet to overcome that deficit and cross the finish line first. Nadal lost the first five meetings of the US Open after losing two sets to one, unable to force a decider and falling in four sets.
He sent the clash to a decider against Lucas Pouille in 2015, only to lose in the decider tiebreak. Rafa’s seventh chance to overturn a two-sets-to-one deficit in New York came against Frances Tiafoe a couple of days ago.
Rafael Nadal is 0-7 after falling two sets to one at the US Open.
The American kept his cool in the crucial moments and cruised to a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory in three hours and 34 minutes to his first US Open quarterfinal.
Frances was the most aggressive player after hitting 49 winners and 28 unforced errors. The American played better in the decisive moments in front of the home crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Nadal needed a medical timeout after the first set and was unable to force a decider despite breaking early in the fourth.
Tiafoe saved four of six break points to keep the pressure on the other side. Rafa broke five times in eight opportunities offered to Frances to hit the exit door and endanger hers, not hers. 1 chance Tiafoe broke Nadal in the seventh game of the first match just after the return to build the lead.
The American volleyed winner in game ten to claim the opener 6-4 in 54 minutes. Nadal played well in the second set and lost five points in five service games. Rafa held after two in game nine and delivered his first break a few minutes later after Frances’ double fault to close out the set and improve his chances.
Returners scored just 13 points in the third set, and Tiafoe kept everything in check in his service games. The American hit a backhand down the line winner in game seven to move in front and fired an ace at 5-4 to clinch the set and move closer to the finish line.
Ready to fight to the finish, the Spaniard hit a forehand crosscourt winner in the fourth game of the fourth set to create a 3-1 lead. Frances recovered the break in the next one before facing two more break points at 2-3.
The American had four points in a row and sealed the game with an ace to gain momentum. Rafa hit a backhand in game seven to lose serve and find himself close to the starting gate. Tiafoe won game eight with his 18th ace and rattled off game five in a row at 5-3 to emerge on top and eliminate the winner of 22 Majors.