Rafael Nadal has played many incredible matches over the previous two decades. Always ready to fight until the last point, the Spaniard has performed some remarkable comebacks, including this year’s Australian Open final.
Interestingly, Nadal is yet to achieve a notable recovery in New York, never winning the US Open match after trailing two sets to one! Rafa is 3-2 in the US Open five-setters, but those wins have always come from two sets to one or two sets to love lead.
The Spaniard lost two of the opening three sets on seven occasions in New York, and he is yet to overcome that deficit and cross the finish line first. Nadal lost the opening five US Open encounters after trailing two sets to one, failing to force a decider and falling in four sets.
He sent the clash into a decider versus Lucas Pouille in 2015, only to lose in the deciding tie break. Rafa’s seventh chance to overcome two sets to one deficit in New York came against Frances Tiafoe a couple of days ago.
Rafael Nadal is 0-7 after falling two sets to one at the US Open.
The American stayed composed in the crucial moments and delivered a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory in three hours and 34 minutes for his first US Open quarter-final.
Frances was the more aggressive player after hitting 49 winners and 28 unforced errors. The American played better in the decisive moments in front of the home crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Nadal needed a medical timeout after the first set and could not force a decider despite having an early break in the fourth.
Tiafoe saved four out of six break points to keep the pressure on the other side. Rafa got broken five times from eight chances offered to Frances to hit the exit door and jeopardize his no. 1 chance. Tiafoe broke Nadal in the opener’s seventh game right after the return to building the advantage.
The American placed a volley winner in game ten to claim the opener 6-4 in 54 minutes. Nadal played well in the second set and dropped five points in five service games. Rafa heldafter deuce in game nine and delivered his first break a few minutes later after Frances’ double fault to wrap up the set and improve his chances.
The returners claimed only 13 points in the third set, and Tiafoe held everything under control in his service games. The American placed a backhand down the line winner in the seventh game to move in front and fired an ace at 5-4 to clinch the set and move closer to the finish lin
Ready to fight until the end, the Spaniard landed a forehand crosscourt winner in the fourth set’s fourth game to create a 3-1 lead. Frances pulled the break back in the next one before facing two more break points at 2-2.
The American took four straight points and sealed the game with an ace to gain a boost. Rafa netted a backhand in game seven to lose serve and find himself near the exit door. Tiafoe grabbed the eighth game with his 18th ace and rattled off the fifth consecutive game at 5-3 to emerge at the top and send the 22-time Major winner out.