American Frances Tiafoe upsets Rafael Nadal in 4th round of US Open
The first three games of his match against the American were uneventful, including two 2-0 sets before Frances Tiafoe’s forehand began to hit Nadal’s on their own three. A mistake and a two-set comeback for Nadal, but nothing he’d never seen in his career. “It’s going to be an interesting match,” he said later in the day.
He hadn’t beaten Nadal in more than a year and it ended up being a match he would never see in his life again. Nadal won in four sets, but it has left a little emptiness that the crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium never thought to fill, the way it should have.
Tiafoe’s first win over Nadal will always be viewed as a special moment in his career, but it was even more special for a guy who hadn’t even been on the same court as the world No. 1 since the U.S. Open in 2015. That loss to Nadal in their first meeting had been especially brutal for him, who was playing in his first Grand Slam final after missing almost a year.
It’s that kind of loss for someone who has always been about the big moments in big matches. And Tiafoe was in the biggest match of his life when Nadal ran through him for the first two sets, an experience he’s never had before in his career.
He had to have it on. It was his time to put his best foot forward. And he did. He found a gameplan, a new one. He started hitting more winners than anyone has ever seen him do before. And that’s when he really went crazy.
“I’m not going to lie, I won’