American Frances Tiafoe celebrates after defeating No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal of Spain in four sets in Arthur Ashe Stadium at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City on Monday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 6 (UPI) -- Frances Tiafoe, the last remaining American man in the men's draw, beat Rafael Nadal in a major upset on Monday while fellow American Jessica Pegula won in straight sets to also reach the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open.
Tiafoe edged Nadal 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York City to reach the second Grand Slam quarterfinal of his career. The No. 22 seed fired 18 aces, 49 winners and converted 5 of 8 break points against the second-seeded Spaniard.
"I played really well," Tiafoe told reporters after the match. "I came out there and just believed I could do it. It helps that I've played him a couple times. ... I went out there trying to get a 'W' and that's what I did."
Nadal logged nine aces, 33 winners and converted 2 of 6 break points in the loss.
In the men's quarterfinals, Tiafoe will next face No. 9 Andrey Rublev of Russia on Wednesday and look to advance to his first Grand Slam semifinal.
"I played a bad match and he played a good match," Nadal said of Tiafoe. "In the end, that was it. I was unable to hold a high level of tennis for a long time. I wasn't quick with my movements. ... My understanding of the game and quality of shots were poor. He was better than me."
No American man has won a Grand Slam title since Andy Roddick won the U.S. Open in 2003, and no American man has reached a Grand Slam final since 2009.
Meanwhile, Rublev beat No. 7 Cameron Norrie of England in straight sets in his Round of 16 match on Monday. The winner of the Rublev-Tiafoe match will face No. 3 Carlos Alcaraz of Spain or No. 11 Jannik Sinner of Italy in the semifinals.
Sinner beat Belarusian Ilya Ivashka in a three-hour, 48-minute marathon match at Louis Armstrong Stadium. He converted 8 of 14 break points in the 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 victory.
Alcaraz needed three hours and 54 minutes to beat No. 15 Marin Cilic of Croatia 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 on Monday in the Round of 16.
No. 5 Casper Ruud of Norway will battle No. 13 Matteo Berrettini of Italy in the first men's quarterfinal at noon Tuesday in Flushing.
No. 23 Nick Kyrgios of Australia, who advanced Sunday with an upset of No. 1 Daniil Medvedev of Russia, will face No. 27 Karen Khachanov of Russia on Tuesday night in the second men's quarterfinal.
The other men's quarterfinals will be decided Wednesday.
On the women's side, Pegula needed just 73 minutes to beat No. 21 Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic in straight sets Monday at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The eighth-seeded American will face No. 1 Iga Swiatek of Poland in the quarterfinals.
Pegula converted 6 of 7 break points in her 6-3, 6-2 win.
"I'm happy I was able to not get frustrated," Pegula said. "I was able to stay in the match, even if I was down a break or just got broken. I thought I returned well and ended up serving really smart when I had to."
Swiatek advanced with a 2-6, 6-4, 6-0 win over German Jule Niemeier. The winner of the Swiatek-Pegula match will No. 22 Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic or No. 6 Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus in the semifinals.
Sabalenka beat No. 19 Danielle Collins of the United States in three sets in their Round of 16 match. Pliskova edged No. 26 Viktoria Azarenka of Belarus in another three-set match.
No. 5 Ons Jabeur of Tunisia will face Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia in the first women's quarterfinal at 2 p.m. EDT Tuesday in Flushing. No. 12 Cori "Coco" Gauff of the United States will meet No. 17 Carolina Garcia of France in the second quarterfinal.
The winners from those two matches will meet Thursday to determine one of the women's singles finalist.
Day 9 coverage will start at noon on ESPN. The quarterfinals will air at the same time Wednesday on the same network. Women's semifinal coverage will air at 7 p.m. Thursday on ESPN. The men's semifinals will air at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, respectively.
The women's singles final will be at 4 p.m. Saturday on ESPN. The men's final will be at 4 p.m. Sunday on ESPN. The winners from each singles tournament will receive $2.6 million apiece.
Carlos Alcaraz of Spain (L) and Casper Ruud of Norway stand with their trophies after the Men's Finals of the 2022 U.S. Open Tennis Championships at the USTA Billy Jean King National Tennis Center in Forest Hills, N.Y. on September 11, 2022. Alcaraz won the match 6-4, 2-6, 7-6, 6-3. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo