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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

US Open: Tiafoe stuns 22-time Slam champion Nadal


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New York: American player Frances Tiafoe stunned four-time champion Rafael Nadal 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 at the US Open to reach his second Grand Slam quarterfinal.

The 24-year-old played fearlessly throughout the three-hour and 31-minute thriller on Arthur Ashe Stadium to earn his third Top 5 win on Monday.

The 22nd seed will next play Andrey Rublev after the ninth seed downed Briton Cameron Norrie 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 on Louis Armstrong Stadium.

Tiafoe hammered the ball off both wings and rallied from a break down in the fourth set to become the first American man to reach the last eight in New York since John Isner in 2018 and the youngest to accomplish the feat since Andy Roddick in 2006.

The American had never won a set against Nadal and trailed the Spaniard 0-2 in their ATP Head-2-Head series prior to their meeting in New York.

Nadal was chasing his fifth title in New York and a record-extending 23rd Grand Slam crown this fortnight. The 36-year-old, who won the first two majors of the year at the Australian Open and Roland Garros, is currently No. 1 in the ATP Live Rankings.

However, his defeat has opened the World No. 1 door for Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz and Norway’s Casper Ruud.

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