Frances Tiafoe’s beautiful U.S. Open run continues into semifinals

Frances Tiafoe’s improbably great American dream reached new heights on Wednesday, when the son of immigrants from Sierra Leone superior to the semifinals of the U.S. Open with a dynamic and decisive victory over Andrey Rublev of Russia. He celebrated with screams of pure pleasure, which have been amplified by the enthralled crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Tiafoe, who was launched to tennis when his father labored on the development crew constructing the Junior Tennis Champions Middle in School Park, Md., stared down Rublev to win tiebreaks in every of the primary two units and seized management of the third set by breaking the Russian’s serve for a 4-3 lead. Along with his 7-6 (3), 7-6 (0), 6-4 triumph, Tiafoe grew to become the primary American man to achieve the semifinals at Flushing Meadows since Andy Roddick received that far in 2006.

“Wow. It’s crazy,” he mentioned throughout an on-court interview after the match.

Roddick was watching on Wednesday whereas Tiafoe, who dominated world No. 2 Rafael Nadal on Monday within the fourth spherical, fired 18 aces with serves that touched 137 m.p.h. He averaged 121.9 m.p.h. on his first serves. Tiafoe hit 47 winners to 31 by Rublev, who was seeded ninth in a discipline that misplaced stars similar to Nadal, No. 1 Daniil Medvedev and No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas in early rounds. Tiafoe additionally received 32 of 41 factors on the web.
His semifinal opponent on Friday would be the winner of the Wednesday night match between No. 3 Carlos Alcaraz of Spain and No. 11 Jannik Sinner of Italy. “I’ll sit back and let them battle all night, hopefully,” he mentioned.

Tiafoe, 24, was born in Hyattsville, Md., to folks who individually left war-ravaged Sierra Leone behind for a greater life within the U.S. and met and married on this nation. Tiafoe and his twin brother Franklin usually slept in his father’s workplace on the tennis middle after his father was employed because the custodian of the advanced, which incorporates courts and a college.

Tiafoe beloved the sport and was touted for stardom as a teen, however he had issue discovering consistency, as usually occurs to younger gamers. His earlier finest efficiency in a Grand Slam event was reaching the quarterfinals of the 2019 Australian Open. He got here to New York seeded No. 22 however has misplaced just one set right here, to 22-time Grand Slam singles champion Nadal, and is 6-0 in tiebreaks.

The gang roared when he wrapped up the victory, ran over to hug his supporters who have been sitting courtside and ad-libbed some dance steps. The gang additionally beloved it when he mentioned, “We got some more,” referring to the 2 matches that stand between him and the primary Grand Slam singles title for a U.S. man since Roddick received at Flushing Meadows in 2003.