Ever since Novak Djokovic announced his withdrawal from the 2022 US Open, many believed it to be a golden opportunity for Rafael Nadal to create a record by winning 23 Grand Slam titles. However, seems like Nadal might have to wait a little longer to achieve this feat. He is officially out of the tournament. Rafa’s hopes came crashing to the ground when he was knocked out of the tournament after losing to Frances Tiafoe on Monday.
Frances Tiafoe Knocks Out Rafael Nadal!
Nadal’s pursuit of a third Grand Slam victory in 2022, unfortunately, came to an end yesterday. Frances Tiafoe defeated his opponent in the US Open’s last-16 match in four sets. Rafael Nadal was defeated in a major for the first time this year, as he had been vying for a new record 23rd Grand Slam victory of his career.
In a nail-biting four-set match on Tuesday at the US Open 2022 round of 16, Tiafoe eliminated the Spaniard. Among the year’s grand slams, Nadal went 22-0 and won the French Open and Australian Open. After Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros in 2021, Tiafoe became the first guy to defeat Rafael Nadal at a major. His attempt to win a record-tying fifth title and unheard-of 23rd Grand Slam was foiled.
When he landed in New York, Nadal was dealing with an abdominal strain that forced him to quit the Wimbledon semifinal. He struggled to overcome his first three games, which revealed his rustiness. However, Frances proved to be a formidable opponent for Nadal because of his scorching forehand. That painted the lines with the winner, and his enormous first serve, which struck 18 aces. Tiafoe defeated Rafael Nadal at a Grand Slam for the third time, after Andy Roddick in 2004 and James Blake in 2005, with a victory of 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. Since Roddick did it 18 years ago, Tiafoe also made history by becoming the youngest player from his nation to reach the US Open quarterfinals.
What’s Next For Nadal Now?
Apparently, for the remainder of the year, Nadal’s schedule remains uncertain. He needs time and practice to get back into shape and be physically healthy. The serve has been a problem for the Spaniard throughout the competition. In an interview with the media on Monday, Rafael Nadal said that he is unsure of his exact comeback date following his loss to Tiafoe.
Rafael Nadal said, “I need to go back and fix things. I also don’t know when I am going to come back.” It is evident that Nadal wants to take a break from sports and take some personal time. He also added that “It’s been a bit difficult for a few months. However, I want to finish the year with something very important that is my first child.”