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Rafael Nadal stunned by Frances Tiafoe in thriller to reach the US open

Rafael Nadal was defeated by Frances Tiafoe 6-4 4-6 6-4 6-3 to go to the US Open quarterfinals for the first time. Rafael Nadal’s ambitions of earning a third Grand Slam championship in 2022 were dashed when Frances Tiafoe of the United States defeated him in four sets at the US Open.

After the loss, Rafael Nadal, who was vying for a record-breaking 23rd Grand Slam trophy, appeared dejected, saying that he needs to address his “life” and that he “doesn’t know” when he’ll return.

The abdominal strain that forced the Spaniard to withdraw before his Wimbledon semi-final in July undoubtedly hindered him, but he displayed his renowned tenacity to provide an electrifying spectacle on Arthur Ashe Court.

The American battled back from a break down in the fourth set to secure a 6-4 4-6 6-4 6-3 triumph in three hours and 33 minutes, but Tiafoe’s shotmaking proved to be too much for the Spaniard to handle.

After reaching the last eight at the Australian Open in 2019, Tiafoe advances to just his second Grand Slam quarterfinal of his career. He will next play Andrey Rublev after the Russian defeated British No. 1 Cameron Norrie in straight sets earlier on Monday.

“I’m beyond happy, I’m almost in tears. I can’t believe it,” Tiafoe said on court in his post-match interview. “He’s definitely one of the greatest of all time. I played unbelievable tennis today, but I really don’t know what happened.

Rafael Nadal, who won the Australian Open and French Open earlier this year, had struggled through the first three rounds in New York to extend his Grand Slam winning streak to 22 matches, despite having played just one match before to the US Open after his Wimbledon withdrawal.

Given that the Spaniard is now set to compete in the Laver Cup in London later this month, it is uncertain whether he will play again this year given the magnitude of his obvious physical struggles during Monday’s defeat.

“I need to go back. I need to fix things, life, then I don’t know when I’m going to come back,” Nadal said. “When I feel that I will be ready to compete again, I will be there.”

“I am going to try to be ready mentally,” he added. “When I feel that I will be ready to compete again, I will be there.

“Tennis is a sport of position. You need to be very, very quick and very young.

“I was not able to create the damage I used to do.”

The entire match was intensely competitive despite Nadal’s obvious lack of flow; Tiafoe won the opening set 6-4 by capitalizing on his only break point.

After taking a medical break at the conclusion of the first set, Nadal returned to the court and started playing more aggressively. He eventually struck as Tiafoe served to stay in the match at 4-5.

Tiafoe refused to let his intensity slip, and with encouragement from a crowd that included many fans of both players, he once again broke at 3-3 to take the lead before twice holding serve to retake it.

In order to prevent a repeat of the drama that occurred earlier in the day when a damp court caused a 45-minute delay, tournament management decided to close the roof of the Arthur Ashe Stadium as clouds began to gather.

The decision was made to continue play rather than wait for the roof to close for five minutes, and Tiafoe was broken to give Nadal a 3-1 lead. This may have been due to the changing weather circumstances.

The American, who was obviously enraged, directed a diatribe at umpire Carlos Bernardes and received an audible obscenity warning as a result.

However, Tiafoe immediately regained his composure and raced off five straight games to win, becoming the first American under the age of 25 to advance to the quarterfinals of the US Open since Andy Roddick won the tournament in 2006.

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