Rafael Nadal hits a return during his men's singles round of 16 defeat against Frances Tiafoe at the 2022 US Open in New York, Sept. 5, 2022. (Xinhua/Liu Jie)
Four-time US Open champion Rafael Nadal was eliminated in the round of 16, while China's Zhang Shuai advanced into the mixed doubles semifinals with partner Mate Pavic of Croatia.
NEW YORK, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- Four-time US Open champion Rafael Nadal of Spain crashed out of the 2022 tournament in the round of 16 on Monday, while women's singles No.1 seed Iga Swiatek of Poland advanced into the quarterfinals.
Local player Frances Tiafoe shocked Nadal 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 to progress to the US Open quarterfinals for the first time. In a marathon match of over three and a half hours, 22nd seed Tiafoe made 18 aces and impressive groundstrokes to seize the victory over the 36-year-old Spaniard.
"I was not able to hold a high level of tennis for a long time. I was not quick enough in my movement. I was not able to create the damage that normally I used to do. We can't find excuses," Nadal said in his post-match press conference.
Tiafoe celebrates after winning the men's singles round of 16 match against Nadal. (Xinhua/Liu Jie)
"I played unbelievable tennis today. I really don't even know what happened," Tiafoe said after the win. "I felt like the world stopped. I couldn't hear anything for a minute. I've never felt something like that in my life, honestly."
The 24-year-old will meet Andrey Rublev of Russia in the quarterfinals, who beat Cameron Norrie of the U.K. in straight sets.
In the women's singles, Swiatek made a comeback to beat Germany's Jule Niemeier, 2-6, 6-4, 6-0.
Iga Swiatek of Poland hits a backhand during her women's singles round of 16 victory over Germany's Jule Niemeier at the 2022 US Open, Sept. 5, 2022. (Photo courtesy of US Open)
"For sure this match gave me a lot. It's nice to come back and lean on that. You can change something and play better, also make some adjustments during the game. I'm just happy that I did a better job than last year and I'm going to push forward," Swiatek said after the match.
In the quarterfinals, Swiatek will play No.8 seed Jessica Pegula of the United States, who enjoyed a victory over the Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova 6-3, 6-2.
China's Zhang Shuai and Mate Pavic of Croatia high five each other during their US Open mixed doubles quarterfinal, Sept. 5, 2022. (Photo courtesy of US Open)
While in the mixed doubles, China's Zhang Shuai and Mate Pavic of Croatia claimed a win over Japan's Ena Shibahara and Franko Skugor of Croatia to move into the semifinals.
Zhang and Pavic sealed the first set 7-6 (5), but lost the second 6-4. The pair then held their nerves to take the deciding third set 10-3.
The No. 2 seeds will face the Belgian-French pair of Kirsten Flipkens and Edouard Roger-Vasselin in the semifinals.
Earlier in the day, Zhang and Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine and the Chinese pair of Xu Yifan and Yang Zhaoxuan were both knocked out in the women's doubles third round. ■