Frances Tiafoe ends astounding 20-year Serena Williams & ‘Big Three’ Slam streak
Frances Tiafoe produced a career-defining performance to defeat four-time US Open champion Rafael Nadal, but he also ended an incredible streak that began all the way back in 2003.
The last American man left in the US Open draw was overcome with emotion after defeating the world number three, breaking into tears as he struggled to comprehend what he had achieved.
Moreover, for the first Slam since the 2003 US Open, none of Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic are present in the quarter-finals. That is a run of 74 consecutive Major tournaments with at least one of those legends reaching the last eight, nearly 19 full seasons. With Federer and Djokovic absent from Flushing Meadows, the job was left to Serena and Nadal, the two falling in the third and fourth rounds respectively.
Two decades of 🐐s pic.twitter.com/xoCyzULtz9
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 6, 2022
Tiafoe spoke of being part of a ‘new era’ of men’s tennis, something that seems to be backed up by the breaking of this unfathomable streak. In addition, for the third year running, the US Open will see a new Major champion in the men’s draw, after Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev claimed their maiden Slam titles in 2020 and 2021.
It will also be the fifth year running with a different champion in New York, after Djokovic and Nadal won in 2017 and 2018.
Next up for Tiafoe is world number 11 Andrey Rublev in what will be a repeat of the pair’s third round encounter last year, a thrilling contest won by the American and one fans hope will be replicated at this year’s event. Rublev levelled their head-to-head 1-1 by downing Tiafoe at Indian Wells in March, leaving both men hungry for victory and their first career foray into the semi-finals of a Major.
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