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"I've seen him growing up, I've played and practiced against him; sometimes it's too good what he does" - Frances Tiafoe on facing Rafael Nadal in 2022 US Open 4R

Anirudh
2019 Australian Open - Day 9
Frances Tiafoe faces Rafal Nadal in the 2022 US Open 4R.

Frances Tiafoe doesn't feel the need to study or do a video analysis of Rafael Nadal's game since he watched the Spaniard keenly while growing up, before practicing and playing against him once he turned professional.

The American has been in fine form at the US Open this year. On Saturday, he beat Diego Schwartzman 7-6(7), 6-4, 6-4 to reach the fourth round at Flushing Meadows, where he will play the World No. 3.

Speaking at his post-match press conference, Tiafoe said he was excited to face the Spaniard in New York.

"Yeah [don't really have to study videos of Rafa], I mean, you've seen him so much. I've seen him growing up. I've played against him, practiced against him. You know what he's going to do. Sometimes it's too good what he does. But I'm ready. I mean, I'm excited. I'm excited. We're going to play on Ashe. Yeah, the best court in tennis. I'll be ready to give my best stuff," he said.
Nadal's Grand Slam record in 2022:22-0Bring on Frances Tiafoe

The biggest challenge when facing Nadal, according to the World No. 26, was matching the Mallorcan's intensity.

"I think for everybody is his intensity. Match his intensity from the first point to the last. You can't really have any dips. He takes advantage of it. How good his forehand is, right? Once he gets ahold of his forehand, it's tough to get him out of that pattern. I'm just going to have to be really aggressive and try to make him play to me, not me play to him," he said.

"Now I believe I can beat him" - Frances Tiafoe on facing Rafael Nadal in US Open 4R

Frances Tiafoe is confident of his chances when he faces Nadal in the 2022 US Open 4R.
Frances Tiafoe is confident of his chances when he faces Nadal in the 2022 US Open 4R.

Frances Tiafoe and Rafael Nadal have gone head-to-head twice before, with the former World No. 1 coming out on top on both occasions without dropping a set.

Their first meeting came in the quarterfinals of the 2019 Australian Open, where the 36-year-old won 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 to go through to the semifinals. Their next, and latest, clash happened at the Madrid Masters that year, where the 22-time Grand Slam champion emerged victorious 6-3, 6-4.

Rafael Nadal vs. Frances Tiafoe for the 3rd time career in their careers. This will be their 2nd meeting at a Slam (AO19) in which Nadal won comfortably. I won’t be surprised though if Tiafoe wins a set due to different factors.

The American, while well aware of those two results, believes that he's a much better player now and is confident of getting his first win against Nadal.

"Yeah, I'm definitely a different player from 2019, playing much better. Yeah, I mean, I'm not going to have that first time playing him, excited to play. Now I believe I can beat him. If I end up playing him, I'm definitely going to come after him," he said.

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Edited by Nihal Taraporvala
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