Rafael Nadal beats Dominic Thiem to advance to the U.S. Open final

Carlos Alcaraz defeats Frances Tiafoe at the US Open semifinals in a battle of tennis’ rising stars

The top seed and two-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal defeated the No. 6 seed and No. 15-ranked player in the world, Frances Tiafoe, 7-6, 6-0, to advance to his first Grand Slam final.

Nadal, 36, has won his first three matches at the U.S. Open this year, and he will face the man who defeated him, Dominic Thiem of Austria, in the semifinals.

Nadal advanced by beating Thiem on Friday in a match that lasted just six hours, two of which Nadal was on serve, and only four of which Nadal lost.

“I’m very happy,” Nadal said, according to ESPN. “We’ve been waiting for this for a long time. Today we started to reach our goals, and now we are heading to the final.”

Nadal and Thiem face off on Saturday in the final.

“It’s a very hard match,” Nadal said. “I’m sure it will last for a long time, but I’m very excited to show my tennis and my game against Dominic Thiem.”

“It’s an incredible event because it has been a year of a great accomplishment for me. I have been improving every day with my game, and it’s great to have this opportunity to defend my title,” Nadal, who hasn’t won a Grand Slam singles title since 2012 at the Australian Open, said.

It’s been a year of milestones for Nadal. He first won the French Open in April after losing his previous two major titles. He then became the first man since Pete Sampras in 2002 to win six weeks in a row at a Grand Slam.

“It may be a little longer than that,” Nadal said of his current streak at a Grand Slam.

He also set a new Grand Slam record by winning all three of his matches on the U.S. Open final day, losing just once

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