Rafael Nadal admitted that he simply “played bad” versus Frances Tiafoe and also gave credit to the American for delivering a good performance. In the US Open last-16, Tiafoe produced an upset win as he stunned Nadal 6-4 4-6 6-4 6-3.
Tiafoe, 24, defeated Nadal for the first time in his career. Previously, Nadal won each of the two first meeting versus Tiafoe. Nadal, a record 22-time Grand Slam champion, managed to reach the US Open last-16 even though he wasn’t convincing at the start of the tournament.
Against Tiafoe, Nadal was clearly far from his best and it resulted in the Spaniard exiting the US Open.
Nadal: I played bad, Tiafoe delivered a good match
“The difference is easy: I played a bad match and he played a good match,” said Nadal.
“At the end that’s it, no? I was not able to hold a high level of tennis for a long time. I was not enough quick on my movements. He was able to take the ball too many times very early, so I was not able to push him back.
Yeah, tennis is a sport of position a lot of times, no? If not, you need to be very, very quick and very young. I am not in that moment anymore. My shots needs to be better. In some way my understanding of the game and the quality of my shots were not enough good, were poor, I think I have to say today, because I was not able to create that much on him.
Well done for him. He was better than me”. It was Nadal’s first loss at the Grand Slam this season. Previously, Nadal won the Australian Open and French Open. At Wimbledon, Nadal reached the semifinal before giving a walkover to Nick Kyrgios due to an injury.
A walkover doesn’t count as a win or a loss so Nadal’s loss versus Tiafoe was his first Grand Slam loss in 2022.