Frances Tiafoe Downs Rafael Nadal at U.S. Open

Twenty-two-time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal was upset in the fourth round of the US Open on Monday by American Frances Tiafoe at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, New York.

In a match that lasted more than 3 hours and 30 minutes, the Maryland native defeated Nadal 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Frances Tiafoe Downs Rafael Nadal at U.S. Open

Tiafoe, 24, is the youngest American man to get this far in the US Open since a then-24-year-old Andy Roddick was a finalist in 2006.

“It was definitely one hell of a performance,” he said following the match. “I played really well today. Yeah, I guess, I mean, I just came out there and I just believed I could do it. It helps I played him a couple times.”

Earlier in the tournament, Tiafoe said he was happy to be going mostly unnoticed

After his win Monday, he expressed joy for what his victory against Nadal meant to his parents, who immigrated to the United States from Sierra Leone.

“I just had a big passion for the game. Not even mainly for me, but to do it for them. To see them experience me beat Rafa Nadal, they’ve seen me have big wins, but to beat those Mount Rushmore guys, for them, I can’t imagine what was going through their heads.

“Yeah, I mean, they’re going to remember today for the rest of their lives.”

Nadal, 36, recorded his first loss in a grand slam event this year and is now 22-1 this season. The Spaniard won the Australian Open and French Open before withdrawing from Wimbledon in July before his scheduled semifinal showdown with Australian Nick Kyrgios.

“The difference is easy,” Nadal said afterward. “I played a bad match and he played a good match. At the end that’s it, no?”

Nadal said Tiafoe played more solidly than in previous matches between the two, served well, had good backhands and was quick.

“But I don’t think I pushed him enough to create him the doubts that I need to create,” he said. “Of course, he did the things well. If not, he will not win, without a doubt. Congrats to him.”

Nadal said he needs to “fix things” and when he feels mentally ready to compete again, he will, but he is unsure about the timetable.

Tiafoe will face Andrey Rublev of Russia in a quarterfinal on Wednesday.
The US Open men’s singles final is scheduled for Sunday.

The 36-year-old Nadal is currently 22-1 this season after suffering his first defeat in a major slam match this year. Before pulling out of Wimbledon in July, just before his matchup with Australian Nick Kyrgios in the semifinals, the Spaniard won the Australian Open and the French Open.

The difference is simple, according to Nadal. “I performed poorly, and he performed well. That’s it in the end, no?

Tiafoe, according to Nadal, played more steadily than in their previous meetings, served well, had nice backhands, and was speedy.

However, he claimed, “I don’t think I pushed him enough to generate the doubts that I need to develop. Naturally, he performed the tasks effectively. He won’t win if it happens, without a doubt. Congrats

Nadal said he has to “correct things” and would return to competition when he is psychologically prepared, but he is unclear of when that will be.

On Wednesday, Tiafoe will compete against Russian Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinals.
On Sunday, the US Open men’s singles championship will be decided.

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