Rafael Nadal will finish the year without a Grand Slam title – for the second season in a row. After an intense battle that took 4 hours and 9 minutes , it all came down to the tie-break in the fifth set, in which the French player Lucas Pouille, stunned Rafael Nadal defeating him with 6:1, 2:6, 6:4, 3:6, 7:6 (8:6) !!!
It is probably the biggest upset at the 2016 US Open so far, but considering the fact that Nadal has struggled to perform well at the Grand Slam tournaments in recent years, we can say that it was somewhat expected!!! Namely, ever since he was eliminated from the Roland Garros quarter finals last years, Nadal has failed to pass the third round.
This season he has lost in the first round of the Australian Open, decided to pull out from the French Open, just before the third round, caused by a wrist injury, which forced him to miss the Wimbledon!!! His effort to reach his best form was noticeable during the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, where the 14-time Grand Slam champion won the GOLD medal in Men’s doubles and reached the bronze medal match in Men’s singles.
Although everyone expected the BLOCKBUSTER match between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals, Lucas Pouille made sure for those expectations not to come true. The 22 year old Frenchman, who is currently ranked as the 25th player on the ATP list, is playing the best tennis of his career so far.
This season he made the second round at the Australian and the French Open, while reaching the 4th round of the Wimbledon. Now that he has reached the quarterfinals of the US Open, where he will face another French player – Gael Monfils, Pouille is proving that his form is in constant rise and that he could become a TOP 10 player in the upcoming years!!!
Interesting is also the fact that this would be the first time in the last 89 years that three French players have made the quarter finals. Besides Lucas Pouille and Gael Monfils, who will face off in the quarterfinals, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has also made it to the last 8, after he defeated Jack Sock with 3-1 (6:3, 6:3, 6:7, 6:2).
Words By: Admir Aljic