Because of the tears, Frances Tiafoe’s vision was cloudy. When the final point finished and it dawned on him that. Yes, he had halted 22-match Grand Slam winning run of Rafael Nadal on Monday He was ecstatic, nearly overtaken, to make it to the quarterfinals of the US Open for the first time. Frances Tiafoe remarked, “I felt like the world stopped. For a little while, I was unable to hear anything. After that when Tiafoe noticed NBA star LeBron James had tweeted about him, he “lost it in the locker room.”
Frances Tiafoe muttered, “Bro, I was going insane.”
The fact that Constant and Alphina Tiafoe could be seen from his guest box in Arthur Ashe Stadium during his victory over No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal in the fourth round at Flushing Meadows. Though, this was what made the victory even more significant to him.
To see them witness me defeat Rafael Nadal? They have witnessed my significant victories, but to defeat those Mount Rushmore men? American tennis player Frances Tiafoe said 24. He is at 22nd number in the US Open. I have no clue what was going through their imaginations, to be entirely honest. After all, they will always remember today.
His parents left Sierra Leone for the US during the civil war there in the 1990s. They ultimately relocated to Maryland, where Constant began working on the construction of a junior tennis training facility before taking on maintenance responsibilities there. According to Tiafoe, Alphina was a nurse who “worked two jobs, overtime through the nights.” When Tiafoe and his twin brother Franklin were born in 1998. They spent a lot of time with rackets near Dad’s workplace.
The hope was that one day it would result in receiving a scholarship for college.
In the hours following by far his biggest triumph, Frances Tiafoe stated, “It wasn’t anything planned to be like this.”
He is the youngest American guy to make it this far in the US Open since Andy Roddick in 2006. Nonetheless, this was not a case of a prejudiced public cheering on one of their own. Rafael Nadal is as well-liked as it gets in the world of tennis. And he received a lot of cheers when the retractable roof was closed in the fourth set.
Rafael Nadal has won 27 straight matches following his 2005 loss to James Blake prior to their matchup on Monday. He was 31-2 in major tournaments versus Americans.
It’s something to say to the grandchildren and the kids: “Yeah, I defeated Rafa.” Tiafoe stated while beaming broadly.
He outperformed Nadal in serving. He also returned better, which was even more surprising. And he never allowed the stakes or his adversary to affect him. Instead, he remained composed and focused on the here and now. In each of their prior matches and in both of their sets, the 36-year-old Spaniard Rafael Nadal had prevailed.
Rafael Nadal, who holds the record with a record 22 Grand Slam victories, said: “Well, the difference is easy. I played a horrible match, and he played a brilliant performance.” “That’s it in the end.”
A day prior, Tiafoe watched on television as his friend Nick Kyrgios “put on a show” to defeat the No. 1 seed and defending champion Daniil Medvedev. Since Andre Agassi and Gustavo Kuerten were eliminated in the first and second rounds, respectively, at the 2000 US Open. Nobody of the top two seeds has advanced to the quarterfinals.
That was before Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Roger Federer started to rule men’s tennis. Each of whom has won 21 Grand Slam championships. Federer, 41, has had many procedures on his right knee and last competed at Wimbledon in 2021. Djokovic, 35, could not participate in this US Open because he is not immunized against COVID-19. And he was not permitted to enter the country.
Since the beginning of 2005, the US Open is just the second major tournament in which none of Federer, Djokovic, or Rafael Nadal have advanced past the quarterfinals. The other was the US Open in 2020 when Djokovic lost by default to Pablo Carreno Busta in the round of 16. Federer and Nadal did not participate.
The concerns about whether their period of excellence is coming to an end are now inescapable.
It represents the passage of time, according to Nadal. “Life goes in cycles,”
After earlier on Monday defeating No. 7 Cameron Norrie 6-4, 6-4, 6-4, Tiafoe will now take on No. 9 Andrey Rublev.
Jannik Sinner, ranked No. 11, overcame a deficit of two games in the fifth set to defeat Ilya Ivashka and earn a ticket to the quarterfinals of all four Grand Slam tournaments this year.
Sinner, who turned 21 in August, became the first player since Djokovic, at 20 years old, in 2007 to advance to the quarterfinals of all four Grand Slam tournaments in a season.
He overcame a 3-1 deficit in the fifth set to defeat unseeded Ivashka by winning five games in a row. Sinner saved 12 break points during the game and battled back in the fifth to demonstrate why the young Italian player is regarded as a future star. Italian players Sinner and Matteo Berrettini are both in the US Open quarterfinals.
Sinner will next face No. 3 Carlos Alcaraz, who was the last to reach the quarterfinals on one of the longest nights in Open history after defeating 2014 US Open winner Marin Cilic at Arthur Ashe Stadium with a score of 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
Alcaraz, who may finish the Open ranked No. 1 in the world, fell to his knees after winning the arduous match, which lasted 3 hours, 54 minutes, and concluded at 2:23 a.m., missing the record for the later conclusion in Open history by 3 minutes. He was already the youngest man to go to the fourth round of consecutive US Opens since Pete Sampras in 1989 and 1990 at the age of 19, making him the youngest No. 1 on the ATP circuit since 2001.
Rafael Nadal triumphed in the Australian and French Opens in January and June, accordingly. Then, in July, he advanced to the quarterfinals at Wimbledon before pulling out of the competition due to a torn abdominal muscle.
Between leaving the All England Club and moving to New York, where he has won four awards, Nadal only played once in the 11 and a half months.
To lessen the pressure on his core, he adjusted his service motion by tossing the ball lower than usual. On Monday, there were several indications that his service was not at its best: nine double-faults, a first-serve percentage that was close to 50%, and five breaks by Frances Tiafoe.
Nadal dropped the opening set in his first-round encounter earlier in the competition. When the edge of his racket frame hit him in the face during the second round and bounced off the court, he also inadvertently cut the bridge of his nose and became lightheaded.
Nadal broke to lead 3-1 in the fourth set on Monday, though, giving him hope that things would turn around.
Frances Tiafoe recited to himself: “Keep at it. Stay by his side.”
That’s related to two important factors that Tiafoe attributes to helping him progress as a player recently: an enhanced in-match attitude and a dedication to fitness.
Rafael is always present, according to Tiafoe. “I’ve been known to occasionally have lapses in performance when it seems as though you’re watching and wondering. “What the heck is that?” My specialty was match intensity.”
No need to worry now; he won the previous five games. When Nadal hit a backhand into the net to give his team a 4-3 lead in the fourth set, Tiafoe hopped backward toward the sidelines for the subsequent changeover while raising his fist.
Tiafoe broke once again fifteen minutes later, and it was enough. This is Tiafoe’s most recent big advancement; his only other Grand Slam quarterfinal appearance was at the 2019 Australian Open when he lost to Nadal.
Tiafoe threw his racket and put his hands over his head when Nadal’s last backhand hit the net. He turned to face his family in the fans, including his parents, brother, fiancée, Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards, and others before sitting on his sideline chair and burying his face in a towel.
It was simply crazy, Tiafoe remarked. “There are a thousand beats in a second in my heart. I was ecstatic. Let me sit down, I said. In all honesty, I’ve never experienced anything like it in my life.
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