Friday, March 31, 2023

Frances Tiafoe knocks out Rafael Nadal in major US Open upset | Tennis News – Times of India

NEW YORK: American Frances Tiafoe performed the match of his life to beat second seed Rafa Nadal 6-4 4-6 6-4 6-3 within the fourth spherical of the U.S. Open on Monday.
It was the primary time this 12 months that Nadal, who had been chasing a record-extending twenty third Grand Slam title, has been overwhelmed in a significant.
Tiafoe lined his face together with his palms as he soaked up the cheers from a packed home at Arthur Ashe Stadium after breaking Nadal for a fifth time to say arguably the largest upset of the event.

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“I don’t even know what to say right now, I’m beyond happy, I’m almost in tears,” Tiafoe, seeded 22, stated in an on-court interview.
“I can’t believe it. He is definitely one of the greatest of all time. I played unbelievable tennis today but I really don’t know what happened.”

While Tiafoe did certainly play chic tennis, he additionally benefited from an uncharacteristically poor serving and returning efficiency from Nadal. The Spaniard produced 9 double faults and hit simply 33 winners to Tiafoe’s 48.
With the win, Tiafoe snapped Nadal’s streak of 17 straight majors the place he reached the quarter-finals or higher. The Spaniard had triumphed on the Australian and French Opens this 12 months earlier than withdrawing with an belly damage earlier than his semi-final at Wimbledon.
After the match, Nadal made no excuses for his efficiency amid suffocating humidity in New York.

“I can find excuses but for me it’s simple: when you don’t play at the level that you should… you can’t win,” he instructed reporters.
“My opponent was the better player”.


AFP Photo
Tiafoe, 24, was born in Maryland to folks from Sierra Leone and took up tennis whereas his father labored as a custodian at Junior Tennis Champions Center in suburban Washington DC.
After the match he donned a hoodie that listed all of Serena Williams’ 23 Grand Slam victories on the again. The trailblazing Williams probably performed her remaining match of her profession on the event final week.

“When I first came on the scene I felt like a lot of people had low expectations of me and how I would do,” he stated.
“I wasn’t ready for it mentally, I wasn’t mature enough for those moments.
“But these final couple years I’ve been capable of develop and I’ve a fantastic group behind me. I’ve been placing my head down and I’m proud of the place I’m in life.”
Despite never winning a set against Nadal in their two prior meetings, Tiafoe was fearless from the start, breaking for a 4-3 lead in the first set and capturing it with an easy volley.
Nadal took almost 10 minutes to change his kit and tape up his hands off the court prior to the second set, which he won when Tiafoe double faulted by the smallest of margins to level the contest.

Tiafoe pumped up the crowd when he set up a break point in the third set and rewarded them with a backhand winner down the line for a 4-3 advantage, causing him to sprint to his chair.


AFP Photo
Nadal showed signs of life when he went up 3-1 in the fourth set after Tiafoe was broken in a game where he complained to the chair umpire about the noise of the roof closing for rain on mammoth Ashe stadium while he was serving.
But Tiafoe broke back on a shaky service game from Nadal and broke him again in the final game when the Spaniard dumped a backhand into the net to seal the unlikely victory.
“CONGRATS Young King!!! You earned it!” NBA star LeBron James wrote on Twitter.
Next up for Tiafoe is a quarter-final showdown with Russian Andrey Rublev.

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