Frances Tiafoe became the first American man to reach the US Open semi-finals for 16 years with victory on Wednesday
In the fourth round against 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal, Tiafoe earned the biggest win of his career. On Wednesday, with the support of a noisy crowd, he defeated No. 9 seed Andrey Rublev 7-6 (3), 7-6 (0), 6-4 to earn another significant victory.
Nadal is the No. 3 ranked player according to the ATP, while Tiafoe is ranked No. 26. Being ranked No. 26 is really, really good. But it’s an underdog ranking against a superstar like Nadal.
Tiafoe now has the best major slam result of his career after defeating Andrey Rublev in straight sets on Wednesday, 7-6 7-6 6-4. Considering his humble beginnings, the accomplishment is all the more astounding.
Since Ashe in 1972, Tiafoe is the first Black American to make it to the semifinals of the US Open, and the audience at Arthur Ashe Stadium was enthralled by his performance. And he couldn’t let them down in a match against the world No. 11 in which he didn’t drop a service game.
“I feel right at home on these courts. Amazing how this court operates. I know I want to play and give it my all, but you guys get so far behind me. On this court, I always manage to find a solution. In an on-court interview shortly after the game, Tiafoe stated, “I always strive to play excellent tennis and I have been.