Francis Tiafoe Amazing US Open against Rafael Nadal It rocked the tennis world, with few watching as eagerly as Washington Wizards star guard Bradley Bell.
Three-time All-Star Tiafone, a native of Maryland, pumped his fists in delight at his four-set upset and shook his head as the unexpected result unfolded.
– US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 5, 2022
After the game, Tiafoe was more than appreciative of Ball’s presence, noting how special it was to have Washington, D.C.’s franchise player in the game.
“My favorite basketball player in the NBA, Bradley Bell, saw this,” Tiafoe said. “…the first tennis match, it was great, talking after it. Yes, he wants to come again. It was awesome. A special day for me.”
Tiafoe was delighted — surprised, even — when the final point was over and it hit him, yes, ending Nadal’s 22-match Grand Slam streak Monday and reaching the US Open quarterfinals for the first time.
“I felt like the world stopped,” Tiafoe said. “I couldn’t hear anything for a minute.”
Then Tiafoe “lost it in the locker room” when he saw that. NBA superstar LeBron James He gave him a Twitter shout-out.
“Bro, it was crazy,” Tiafoe said.
Congratulations young king!!! You will find it! @FTiafoe 🙏🏾✊🏾🤎👑
— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 5, 2022
Tiafoe was beaten 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 by 22-time major champion Nadal in the fourth round at Flushing Meadows, but he was watching the hospitality at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Knowing the box and his parents, Constant and Alfina, were there.
To see me practice beating Rafa Nadal – you’ve seen me achieve big wins, but to beat those ‘Mount Rushmore’ guys? For them, I can’t imagine what’s going through their heads,” said Tiafoe, the 24-year-old American, seeded 22nd at the US Open. “I mean, they’ll remember today for the rest of their lives.
In the year His parents both immigrated to the United States from Sierra Leone in West Africa during the civil war of the 1990s. They ended up in Maryland, where Constant helped build a junior tennis training center, then became a maintenance man. Alfina, Francis said, “was a nurse, working two jobs, working part-time at night. Francis and his twin brother, Franklin, were born in 1998 and soon succeeded my father at work.
“It wasn’t meant to be,” Tiafoe said Monday night, hours after the big win.
In the year He’s the youngest American to get that far at the US Open since Andy Roddick in 2006, but it wasn’t a case of a one-sided crowd backing him. Nadal is almost as popular in tennis and he heard plenty of support from the crowd after his retractable roof closed in the fourth set.
“To the children, to the grandchildren: Yes, I beat Rafa,” said Tiafoe with a big smile.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.