US Open: Frances Tiafoe shocks Rafael Nadal

Frances Tiafoe shocks Rafael Nadal in four sets at US Open

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Frances Tiafoe shocks Rafael Nadal at US Open

Frances Tiafoe shocked Rafael Nadal 6-4 4-6 6-4 6-3 in the fourth round of the US Open on Monday.

The pumped-up 24-year-old played fearless tennis in the three-hour, 31-minute thriller on Arthur Ashe Stadium to earn his third Top 5 win.

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Tiafoe rallied from a break down in the fourth set to become the first American man to reach the last eight in New York since John Isner in 2018.

“I’m beyond happy, almost in tears, I can’t believe it,” Tiafoe said in his on-court interview.

“I played unbelievable tennis today. I really don’t know what happened.”

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While Tiafoe did indeed play sublime tennis, he also benefited from an uncharacteristically poor serving and returning performance from Nadal.

The Spaniard produced nine double faults and hit just 33 winners to Tiafoe’s 48.

Long bathroom break

Nadal took almost 10 minutes to change his kit and tape up his hands off the court prior to the second set.

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Tiafoe was getting frustrated on court since the umpire failed to communicate to him why Nadal had taken the long break.

“No, I didn’t go for a medical timeout,” Nadal confirmed after the match.

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“Bathroom break. I put some bandage for the humidity, to stop the humidity on my hands. That’s all.”

Nadal not sure when he will return

After his first official Grand Slam loss of the year — Nadal had withdrawn from the Wimbledon semi-final– he is unsure when he will return.

The 36-year-old’s wife is pregnant and had developed some complications last month.

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“I need to go back. I need to fix things, life, then I don’t know when I’m going to come back,” said the 22-time Grand Slam champion.

“I’m going to try to be ready mentally. When I feel that I will be ready to compete again, I will be there.”

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This is the first time since 2003 that neither Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic have reached the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam.

 

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