US Open 2022: The defeats of Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams signal the changing of the guard
For the first time since 2003, no one among Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer or Serena Williams will be in the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam.
Rafael Nadal’s defeat in the round of 16 of the US Open against American Frances Tiafoe has shown more and more glimpses of a changing of the guard in the world of tennis.
Nadal was the only representative of the Big Three in New York, and it has been his first and only defeat of the year in a Grand Slam match in 2022 (He withdrew from Wimbledon before the semifinals).
After Nadal’s defeat, it is the first time since the 2003 US Open that no one among Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Serena Williams, four great tennis legends, appeared at the quarterfinals of the US Open.
In the case of Williams, the American fell in the third round of the tournament against Ajla Tomljanovic- a match that seems likely to be her last game as a professional.
In the 2020 US Open, Federer withdrew due to injury, Nadal did not play for fear of the coronavirus pandemic, while Djokovic was disqualified in the round of 16 for hitting a chair umpire in the eye with a ball.
The tennis players of the Big Three were left out of the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam, but on that occasion Williams did manage to reach the semifinals in the women’s draw.
A new major title holder
Nadal’s loss to Tiafoe and Cilic’s subsequent defeat to Alcaraz mean that the US Open will produce a new Grand Slam event champion this year, as none of the eight players who have made it to the quarterfinals know what it’s like to win a major title.
Players like Nick Kyrgios and Casper Ruud have already taken part in the final of a Grand Slam event, and now they hope to take the next step and lift the trophy.
Meanwhile, tennis lovers look on with some nostalgia as this era in which Nadal, Djokovic and Federer won 63 of the last 78 Grand Slams and the reign of Serena Williams seem to be coming to an end.