Francis Tiafoe defeats Andrei Rublev in straight sets, becoming the first American man to reach the semi-finals of the US Open since 2006

New York — Francis Tiafoe He became the first American man to reach the semi-finals of the US Open since 2006 with a victory Andrey Rublev 7-6 (3), 7-6 (0), 6-4 behind the support of a raucous partisan crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old Tiafoe, who grew up in Maryland, performed as powerful, if not stronger, than the one he used to eliminate the 22-time Grand Slam champion. Rafael Nadal In the fourth round.

22nd-ranked Tiafoe said at Flushing Meadows: “Oh man, man, this is wild. This is insane. I had the biggest win of my life in 24 hours… That’s massive growth. It’s hard to turn the page.” .

Then, looking ahead, and making sure that everyone knew this great achievement was not enough to satisfy him, Tiafoe added, “Let’s enjoy this. We have two more, we have two more.”

Andy Roddick He was the last American player to reach the semi-finals in New York, when he lost to Roger Federer in the title match 16 years ago. Roddick was also the last man from the country to win any singles tournament at a Grand Slam, winning the 2003 US Open.

Entering this year’s US Open, American men have won 74 consecutive major tournaments since Roddick’s victory in 2003, the longest drought in American men’s tennis history.

Tiafoe is now the second active American man to reach a major semi-final, and joins John Isner (2018 Wimbledon).

The semi-finals of the first Tiafoe Grand Slam will come on Friday against the third seed Carlos Alcaraz or number 11 Yannick Sener. They meet on Wednesday evening.

Playing aggressive and offensive tennis, Tiafoe used 18 aces with a powerful shot to oust No. 9 Rublev, the Russian who dropped to 0-6 in the main quarter-final. Tiafoe won 31 of 41 points when he went into the net. Rublev only ventured forward 11 times.

Raindrops started falling before the start of the Tiafoe vs. This resulted in a cool, windless environment and louder ambiance, with applause and screams from fans reverberating in what became an indoor arena – conditions that favored Tiafoe. The match was marked by control of serve – the only break came over two hours later, when Tiafoe took a 4-3 lead in the third and then stood mostly motionless on the field, enjoying the reaction of the stadium – and the most vital moment were the tiebreaks.

Tiafoe is now 6-0 in the tiebreak at the US Open. He excelled at that point against Rublev, playing in front of spectators and enjoying stepping up cheers that reflected the way he raised his performance.

Rublev actually had the first chance to take the lead, with a set point at 6-5 at the start, but Tiafoe erased it with a risky forehand kick into a corner that led to a calculated response. Several minutes later, it was Tiafoe who took the group, stamped it at 130 mph, then strutted to the change, nodded and moved his paddle for more noise. He obliged the crowd, including Tiafoe’s friend, Washington Wizards all-star guard Bradley Beal, from his front row seat.

A similar scene emerged in the second tiebreak after a shot from Tiafoe forced Rublev to a foul to score 6-0. When Tiafoe produced a backhand winner to take a two-pack lead, he sprinted to the sideline, sat near his chaotic collection of towels, T-shirts, and socks strewn about the floor—he called it “college bedroom chic”——and shook his fist to the ravings of thunderous applause.

Tiafoe is definitely a showman. He showed it against Nadal, and then again against Rublev, who never tried to hide his anger at the way things were going. Rublev would hit himself in the leg with his bat or punch his strings. Time and time again, he glanced and shouted in the direction of his guest box, as only four of the 15 seats were filled, in stark contrast to the overcrowded Tiafoe section.

Tiafoe told the audience, “I feel at home in stadiums like this. You guys are behind me, I want to give my best.”

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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