TIAFOE ON THE GO: American star upsets Nadal to move to US Open quarterfinal

Rafael Nadal exits the 2022 US Open without a trophy. (skysports.com)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The man who holds the record for the most grand slam championship titles is now out of the 2022 US Open.

American star Frances Tiafoe pulled off a stunning upset against world no. 2 male tennis player Rafael Nadal in four sets – 6.4, 4.6, 6.4, 6.3- to punch a quarterfinal ticket in the ongoing grand slam tournament.

Eager to put on a show in front of his fans held at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Tiafoe imposed his will and went toe-to-toe with Nadal.

It was Tiafoe’s consistent service prowess that established his pace in the duel after recording an impressive 18 total aces in the match.

Aside from his first service efficiency, Tiafoe took care of his double fault errors. The American finished the game with only four service errors while the legendary Nadal had a disappointing nine tallied.

However, after dropping the first set, Nadal was quick to storm back after regaining his rhythm in the baseline game and equalized the match at one set apiece.

Nadal brought his momentum at the start of the third set but Tiafoe put up a performance for the ages and showed no struggles handling the Spaniard’s overwhelming top-spin forehand bombs.

Despite the power Nadal possessed, Tiafoe always had answers and persevered to chase every wide ball that turned into garbage points that put the crowd to their feet.

Nadal never recovered in the last set and was plagued with successive service and long rally errors that put Tiafoe in a commanding 5-3 lead and was bound for a set-point.

With the career-boosting win, Tiafoe will next face world no. 9 ranked Andrey Rublev of Russia in the quarterfinal stage.