NEW YORK — Frances Tiafoe ended Rafael Nadal’s 22-match winning streak at Grand Slam tournaments by beating the 22-time major champion 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the U.S. Open’s fourth round on Monday.
Tiafoe is a 24-year-old from Maryland who is seeded 22nd at Flushing Meadows and reached the second major quarterfinal of his career.
He is the youngest American man to get that far at the U.S. Open since Andy Roddick in 2006, but this was not a case of a one-sided crowd backing one of its own. Nadal is about as popular as it gets in tennis and heard plenty of support in Arthur Ashe Stadium as the volume raised after the retractable roof was shut in the fourth set.
Nadal won the Australian Open in January and the French Open in June. Then he made it to the semifinals at Wimbledon in July before withdrawing from that tournament because of a torn abdominal muscle; that does not go into the books as a loss, because he pulled out before the match.
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