Frances Tiafoe defeated second-seeded Rafael Nadal on Monday, defeating him 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, and moving on to the quarterfinals of the US Open.
Nadal was defeated in a major for the first time this year, and he had been vying for a record-extending 23rd Grand Slam victory.
After defeating Rafael Nadal for the fifth match to pull off the biggest upset of the tournament, the American covered his face with his hands as he soaked up the applause from the cheering crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
In an on-court interview, Tiafoe said, “I don’t even know what to say right now, I’m beyond happy, I’m almost in tears.
“It’s just unbelievable. He is unquestionably among the best of all time. I played incredible tennis today, but I have no idea what went wrong.”
While Tiafoe did play outstanding tennis, he also benefited from Nadal’s uncharacteristically subpar serving and returns. Compared to Tiafoe’s 48 winners, the Spaniard struck just 33 winners and nine double faults.
Tiafoe’s victory ended Nadal’s string of 17 consecutive major tournaments in which he advanced past the quarterfinals. The Spaniard won the Australian and French Opens this year before pulling out of his Wimbledon semifinal due to an abdominal issue.
The Russian Andrey Rublev, who earlier on the day upset the British player Cameron Norrie 6-4, 6-4, 6-4, awaits Tiafoe in the quarterfinals.