Former world number one Rafael Nadal has suffered a shock exit at the ongoing US Open. Nadal was beaten in a game of four sets by Frances Tiafoe in the third round of the event.
The defeat ended Nadal’s hopes of winning a third grand slam this year after winning the Australian Open and French Open. The defeat was also Nadal’s first loss in a Grand Slam this year. At the Wimbledon Championship, he had to pull out just before the semis due to an abdominal strain.
Tiafoe, who would be making the second Grand slam quarterfinal appearance of his career, defeated Nadal 6-4 4-6 6-4 6-3 in one of the finest matches of his career. He was so in shock after the game that he threw his racquet to the floor in disbelief. It is not every day that someone gets to beat a legend like Nadal and to be one of the few persons to defeat him this year is quite impressive.
The third round of the game proved challenging for Tiafoe as Nadal looked set to win the round after leading 3-1 at some point. But the American, determined to go home with the win, won five games in a row to claim victory.
Nadal would now have to settle for 22 Grand Slam titles as his hope for the 23rd has now been dashed. But he is expected to make up in the men’s ranking following defending champion, Daniil Medvedev’s shocking loss to Nick Kyrgios on Sunday.
The Spaniard is still leading in the Grand Slam race with 22 titles, which he could further extend next year at the Australian Open in the absence of Serbian Novak Djokovic.
Tiafoe would go ahead to face Andrey Rublev for a chance to qualify for the semifinals.