Nadal out, Kyrgios looking strong for Open

·3-min read

After a heartbreaking loss in the Wimbledon final to Novak Djokovic, Nick Kyrgios looks like he'll get another chance sooner rather than later to secure his first grand slam title.

The exit of defending champion and No.1 seed Daniil Medvedev - at the hands of Kyrgios - was followed by the demise of second seed Rafael Nadal on Monday, the 22-time grand slam winner was beaten by Frances Tiafoe in four sets.

Kyrgios is the hottest player in the world at the moment. He is the prized scalp for good reason and with the men's top seeds both out, he will fancy his chances.

Local hope Tiafoe ended Nadal's hopes of a 23rd slam in a three-hour 34-minute 6-4 4-6 6-4 6-3 triumph.

This represents the latest significant step forward for the 24-year-old Tiafoe, whose only previous trip to the last eight at a major came at the 2019 Australian Open, and ended with a loss to Nadal.

"I don't even know what to say right now. I'm beyond happy. I can't believe it," Tiafoe said.

"He's one of the greatest of all time. I played unbelievable tennis today, but I don't even know what happened."

Tiafoe is the youngest American man to get that far in New York since Andy Roddick in 2006, and his win left the US Open without its top men's seeds in the quarter-finals since 2000, when No.1 Andre Agassi exited in the second round and No.2 Gustavo Kuerten in the first.

"When I first came on the scene, a lot of people had limitations on what I would do ... I wasn't 'ready for it mentally.' I wasn't 'mature,'" Tiafoe said.

But these days, he added, "I'm able to just do me and do it my way and enjoy the game I love."

Nadal won the Australian Open in January and the French Open in June. Then he made it to the semi-finals at Wimbledon in July before withdrawing from that tournament because of a torn abdominal muscle.

The 36-year-old competed only once in the six weeks between leaving the All England Club and arriving in New York while recovering from that injury. His play has not been up to his usual standards at the US Open, which he has won four times.

"Well done for him," the Spaniard said.

"He was better than me ... At the end that's it."

Now come the inevitable questions about whether the era of Nadal and non-starters Novak Djokovic (not vaccinated against COVID-19) and Roger Federer (recovering from knee surgery) is wrapping up.

"It signifies that the years go on," Nadal said.

"It's the natural cycle of life."

Tiafoe will face ninth seed Andrey Rublev in the last eight after the Russian scored a 6-4 6-4 6-4 victory over seventh-seeded Brit Cameron Norrie.

Another with plenty of incentive is Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz, who beat 2014 champion Marin Cilic 6-4 3-6 6-4 4-6 6-3 in a late-night thriller on Arthur Ashe Stadium to reach his second straight quarter-final at Flushing Meadows.

Alcaraz will take on Jannik Sinner for a place in the semi-finals, with the young gun eyeing a maiden grand slam title himself that would elevate him to world No.1.

Eleventh-seeded Jannik Sinner held off feisty Ilya Ivashka to win 6-1 5-7 6-2 4-6 6-3 to complete his passage to all four grand slam quarter-finals this year.