Frances Tiafoe charges into U.S. Open semifinals

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Frances Tiafoe became the first American man to advance to the U.S. Open semifinals since 2006 by defeating Andrey Rublev in straight sets at New York on Wednesday.

Tiafoe, the 22nd seed, defeated the ninth-seeded Russian 7-6 (3), 7-6 (0), 6-4 in a quarterfinal match that lasted 2 hours, 36 minutes and came two days after defeating Rafael Nadal, a winner of 22 Grand Slams.

Tiafoe’s next opponent will third-seeded Carlos Alcaraz of Spain, who outlasted 11th-seeded Jannik Sinner of Italy 6-3, 6-7 (7), 6-7 (0), 7-5, 6-3 late Wednesday night. Alcaraz completed his 5-hour, 15-minute win at 2:50 a.m. ET, the latest-ever finish at the U.S. Open.

The other semifinal will match 27th-seeded Karen Khachanov of Russia against fifth-seeded Casper Ruud of Norway.

Andy Roddick was the last American male to advance to the U.S. Open semis. He lost to Roger Federer in the finals.

Tiafoe becomes the first Black American male to reach a U.S. Open semifinal since Arthur Ashe in 1972. Tiafoe defeated Rublev in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“This is wild. This is crazy,” Tiafoe said afterward about making it to his first Grand Slam semifinal. “Had the biggest win of my life 24 hours ago … it’s tough to turn the page.”

Before the current tournament, Tiafoe’s previous best result in a Grand Slam was a quarterfinal appearance at the 2019 Australian Open.

“I feel so at home on courts like this,” Tiafoe told the crowd. “You guys get so far behind me, I want to play my best. Let’s enjoy this one. We’ve got two more, guys. We’ve got two more.”

Tiafoe slammed 18 aces to Rublev’s 14 and won 88 percent of his first-serve points. He laced 46 winners against 38 unforced errors. Rublev finished with 31 winners against 38 unforced errors.

–Field Level Media

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