Frances Tiafoe says he believes he can beat Rafael Nadal when they meet in the fourth round of the US Open.
Nadal is one of the favourites to win the tournament, especially in the absence of Novak Djokovic, and he was in especially outstanding form to beat Richard Gasquet in round three.
Frances Tiafoe was in fine form himself, overpowering Diego Schwartzman 7-6, 6-4, 6-4 to put himself in the path of Rafael Nadal.
They have only met twice before, with both times coming in 2019. Tiafoe was the loser in both of those, but he believes he has a far better chance this time around.
“I'm definitely a different player from 2019, playing much better. 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.
For many, Rafael Nadal is the greatest player of all time and he is attempting to win a record-extending 23rd major in New York.
That is naturally daunting for any opponent, but Tiafoe believes he at least has a rough blueprint about how to take the match to the Spaniard.
Asked what makes Nadal such a tough opponent, Tiafoe said: “I think for everybody is his intensity.
“Match his intensity from the first point to the last [and you have a chance]. You can't really have any dips. He takes advantage of it.
“How good his forehand is, right? Once he gets a hold 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.”
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