Son of Sierra Leonean immigrants Frances Tiafoe makes another history by defeating Andrey Rublev 7-6(3), 7-6(0) to reach the first Grand Slam Semifinal at the US Open 2022 Tennis Championships.
It became Tiafoe Stadium in the second-set tiebreaker — a masterpiece seven-point segment that could earn a place of honour in the annals of U.S. Open history.
Frances Tiafoe reeled off a service winner on the first point, later belting two consecutive aces at 134 and 145 mph, respectively, to go up 5-0
When the carnage was over, after a pair of drop-shot volley winners, Tiafoe had shut out Andrey Rublev, 7-0, to go up two-sets-to-zero on the way to men’s American tennis history.
After each point in that tiebreaker, Tiafoe either shook his fist frantically, shook his head animatedly or waved his arms to pump up the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd to a louder pitch.
Not that it could get any louder. They had come for Serena Williams, for Coco Gauff and now, the last American man standing, Tiafoe
The 24-year-old from the Washington suburbs became the first American men’s player to advance to the U.S. Open semifinals since 2006 as he took out the ninth-seeded Russian Rublev, 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-0), 6-4.
This is wild, crazy, the biggest win of my life 24 hours ago and coming back with this,” said Tiafoe, who didn’t get broken all match and did a dance move with his arms after match point. “This court is unbelievable. I feel at home. Let’s enjoy this one but we got two more.”
The last American male to get this far in Flushing was Andy Roddick, who was on hand for this momentous occasion. Tiafoe, who upset Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals, will face the winner of Wednesday’s late Carlos Alcaraz-Jack Sinner match.
The men’s semifinals will take place Friday, and Tiafoe will have the home-court advantage. An American male hasn’t won this thing since 2003 when Roddick took the title.
Neither Tiafoe nor Rublev could muster a break in the first two sets, leading to a tiebreaker each time. Tiafoe dominated the first-set tiebreaker, 7-3. That became a 14-3 edge for Tiafoe during the pressure cooker of the second-set tiebreak and he moved to 6-0 in the tournament in tiebreaks.
Rublev is a hot-tempered player and showed it, violently slamming the racket against his knees and had to swap it out during the 7-0 tiebreak slaughter.
Tiafoe has been an up-and-comer for eight years and now he’s finally arrived