Frances Tiafoe admitted to feeling “beyond happy” after stunning Rafael Nadal at the US Open. On Monday, 26th-ranked Tiafoe claimed a shock 6-4 4-6 6-4 6-3 victory over Nadal to progress into his first US Open quarterfinal.
For the first time in his career, 24-year-old Tiafoe defeated Nadal. Nadal still leads their head-to-head 2-1. “I’m beyond happy, almost in tears, I can’t believe it,” Tiafoe said after stunning Nadal, per the ATP website.
“I played unbelievable tennis today. I really don’t know what happened.”
Tiafoe on not allowing Nadal to win the fourth set
“At 4-3 [in the fourth set], when I went up 40/0, my legs were like cement,” Tiafoe said.
“I just needed to get out of the game and then pray to god that I don’t have to serve for it. I was lucky enough to get out of that game. I came out not giving Rafa all the respect. I came out to win a tennis match if front of you guys”.
Tiafoe earned the first break of the match in the seventh game and then held on to his serve the rest of the set to win the opener. Nadal bounced back in the second set as he earned his first break of the match in the 10th game, when Tiafoe was serving to stay in the second set.
After losing the second set on a devastating way, Tiafoe was able to stay focused as he broke Nadal in the seventh game of the third set before serving out for the set three games later. In the fourth set, Nadal got off to a better start as he claimed an early break to open a 3-1 lead.
At that point, nobody could have predicted that Tiafoe would win the next five games and complete a four-set win. Tiafoe plays Andrey Rublev next.