American Frances Tiafoe upsets Rafael Nadal in 4th round of US Open
By Evan M. Jones 04/18/2017
This is a photo of the match play at the United States Open Tennis Championships last month in New York. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
NEW YORK (AP) — After losing the title he held for 15 years, Rafael Nadal was a tad upset about his loss to former world No. 1 Frances Tiafoe.
“I was not expecting this match,” the Spanish icon said in a story in the New York Times Magazine.
But Nadal, who was once described as “the greatest clay-court player of all time” and was the last man standing at the U.S. Open, said he was not surprised by Tiafoe’s victory over the second-seeded Spaniard.
“We played a great match. We were both hitting good balls,” Nadal said. “We both had good opportunities to come out on top.”
Nadal, a five-time Grand Slam champion, took the lead in the first set with a 12-10, 6-3 win and held to 5-4 in the second set. Tiafoe got the game rolling, serving at 5-3 in the second against his 15th-ranked opponent as more than 18,000 fans at Flushing Meadows roared for both men.
Nadal closed out the match by winning the final two games of the match, despite being three points away from going 5-1 down.
The 33-year-old Swiss player was just 7-9 against Nadal but had won 15 of 19 sets prior to that, including five of six. Tiafoe, also 33, was one of the finest young players in tennis. He is playing this week for the first time since his retirement.
“I came a long way to make the semis here, so it was nice to come home with the titles as well,” Tiafoe said after the win. “I’m just happy to be able to finish my season in a good way. I’ve made a lot of changes this year and I feel I’m making progress.”
Mixed doubles final
While Nadal said that he was not surprised