New York – Francis Tiafoe He became the first American to reach the semi-finals of the US Open since 2006 with a 7-6 (3), 7-6 (0), 6-4 win over Andrei Rublev in Arthur, behind a cheering party crowd. Ashe Stadium on Wednesday.
Tiafoe, who grew up in Maryland, produced a strong performance, if not stronger, than the one the 24-year-old used to eliminate 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal in the fourth round.
“Man, man, this is wild. This is crazy. I got the biggest win of my life 24 hours ago… That’s a big milestone. It’s hard to turn the page,” said Tiafoe, the 22nd seed at Flushing Meadows.
Then, looking ahead and letting everyone know that this milestone wasn’t enough to satisfy him, Tiafoe added, “Let’s enjoy it. We got two more, guys. We got two more.”
1: Win for US men in Open quarters since 2007 for Tiafoe. The US men were 0-7 through Wednesday.4: The opening-set draw won this year’s Open for Tiafoe, tied for the most at the event since 1970 (when the tiebreaker enters here).6: The US men reached the semifinals of a major. 6-0 since 2004 (Agassi, Ginepri, Roddick, Isner, Querrey, Tiafoe): Tiafoe’s record at the Open this year was 1 shy of any other man at an Open since 197016: Years between Open semifinals by an American man (Roddick in .a.
Andy Roddick was the last American to reach the semifinals in New York, losing to Roger Federer 16 years ago. Roddick was the last man to win any Grand Slam singles championship, winning the 2003 US Open.
Entering this year’s US Open, the American men have won 74 consecutive majors since Roddick won in 2003, the longest major title drought in US men’s tennis history.
Among active American men, Tiafoe is the second to reach a major semifinal, joining John Isner (2018 Wimbledon).
Tiafoe’s first career Grand Slam semifinal comes Friday against No. 3 Carlos Alcaraz or No. 11 Jannik Sinner. Alcaraz and Siner meet Wednesday night.
Tiafoe played aggressive, offensive tennis, using 18 aces along with strong volleys to down 9 Rublev in a major quarter-final against the Russian 0-6. Tiafoe won 31 points out of 41 when he went to the net. Rublev moved forward only 11 times.
Raindrops started falling just before Tiafoe and Rublev started, so they stood around until the retractable roof closed. That makes for both a cool, wind-free environment and a loud setting, echoing with the applause and cheers of fans in what is now an indoor arena – conditions that favor Tiafon. The match was dominated by both sides – the only break of service reached more than two hours, when Tiafoe went 4-3 up in the third set, then stood on the mostly motionless court, enjoying the reaction from the stadium – and the most important moments were the two teams’ equalisers.
Tiafoe is now 6-0 at this US Open. He was brilliant on that stage, playing with Rublev, playing with the audience and enjoying the excitement that radiated from his performance.
At 6-5, Rublev had the first chance to nose ahead but Tiafoe canceled it out with a dangerous forehand into a corner with a neat response. After several minutes, Tiafoe, who takes the set, packs it at 130 mph, then runs to the changeup, swinging and swinging the racket for more noise. The audience, including Tiafoe’s pal All-Star Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal, obliged in his front row seat.
In the second final of the same show, Typhoon’s volley fell and Rulev’s error forced a 6-0 finish. When Tiafoe produced a backhand winner to close out a two-set lead, he hurried to the sideline, sat down next to a messy collection of towels, shirts and socks — they call it “college dorm room chic” — and shook his hand amid a standing ovation.
Tiafoe is definitely a show. It showed against Nadal, then again against Rublev, who never tried to hide his anger at the way things were going. Rublev hits his leg with a racket or hits the string. He repeatedly gestured and shouted to the guest box, where only four of the 15 seats were occupied.
“I feel at home in courts like this,” Tiafoe told the crowd. “You guys get behind me, I want to play my best.”
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.