Frances Tiafoe, 24, credits his change of attitude for his US Open success as he admits that a few years ago he would likely just be happy to have a chance to play Rafael Nadal. On Monday, Tiafoe clinched one of the biggest victories of his career after upsetting Nadal at the US Open with a 6-4 4-6 6-4 6-3.
It was Tiafoe's first victory over Nadal. In 2019, Tiafoe picked up losses to Nadal at the Australian Open and Madrid Masters. This time, Tiafoe entered the court determined to send Nadal packing out of New York and reach his first US Open quarterfinal.
The American then defeated Andrey Rublev in straight sets to secure a spot in the semifinals. “A couple years ago I would have played Rafa and been like, ‘oh, it’s cool to play him,'” Tiafoe explained.
“But today when I got out there I looked at my team I said, ‘let’s get a win today’”.
Tiafoe thinks the game is in good hands
Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer didn't participate at this year's US Open, while Nadal suffered a round-of-16 loss.
But this year's US Open edition isn't lacking excitement as Tiafoe feels the game is in good hands with the likes of Kyrgios, Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner. “I think Nick is playing great tennis, and is great for tennis,” Tiafoe said.
“You see him packing stadiums when he’s playing singles, doubles, whatever. Alcaraz is a great personality. [Jannik] Sinner. Myself. People get behind me. You know the American guys, Tommy [Paul], [Taylor] Fritz. There’s a ton of guys playing great tennis.
I don’t think it will be a Big Three. It will be like a Big 12. There’s a bunch of guys playing great tennis. I think it’s good. For sure you’ll probably have someone who probably will cement and be at the top.
That’s still kind of happening. We’ll see who that person’s going to be. It’s cool to see a new era”.