US Open, round of 16
Frances Tiafoe – Rafael Nadal 6-4 4-6 6-4 6-3
An extremely high-quality match from Francis Tiafoe and the biggest victory of his career – 6-4 4-6 6-4 6-3 over Rafael Nadal and a place in the quarter-finals of the US Open.
The home team’s final representative shone in front of a packed Arthur Ashe and upset Rafael Nadal’s perfect balance at the 2022 Slams.
Nadal played his strongest match since the beginning of the competition, but even that was not enough against the winged American.
Tiafoe was very, very impressive on the return and was giving Rafa a lot of headaches on every second serve. His deep and powerful forehands were often complemented by equally strong forehands in one of the corners of the court or with forehands at the net.
Given this fact, it was not at all good for Matadora that he scored only 51% of his first serves in the match. Nadal was forced to increase the speed of his second forehands and this resulted in 9 double faults.
Francis’ other decisive weapon today was the backhand, with which he often accelerated the pace sharply on the diagonal and put the Spaniard in a very difficult position.
The 22-time Grand Slam winner finished with 33 winners and 26 unchallenged to Tiafoe’s impressive 48 winners and 28 unchallenged.
Rafa was not far from a turnaround. At the beginning of the fourth set, he took the lead with a break in a game that took place during the release of the roof over the facility. Tiafoe was vocal in his displeasure that he was distracted at such an important moment and the game was not stopped, for which he received an official warning.
However, the answer was immediate – Tiafoe’s fantastic returns led to a ribbreak. Good serves pulled him from 15-40 down to 3-3, then a long game with a number of stunning moves took him 4-3 up.
At 5-3, Francis fired spectacular winner after spectacular winner and broke again – this time for the win.
In the next round, he will play against Andrei Rublev.