Maryland is two matches away from breeding a U.S. Open champion!
Frances Tiafoe, the final American man left in the tournament, returned to the hardcourts for another battle on Wednesday afternoon – this time, facing Russia’s Andrey Rublev and advancing to his first Grand Slam semifinal.
It’s been a whirlwind for the American tennis star since he stepped on the court for the first round. In fact, he is the first Black American man to make it to the U.S. Open quarterfinals in 16 years and the first American man to reach the semifinal since 2006.
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After the match, Tiafoe said the victory over Nadal was the "biggest win of my life" and "to back it up is huge growth." He sounded ready to take on more challenges in the semis, saying "we got two more, guys, we got two more" matches to go.
Let’s take a look at how the American professional played on Wednesday:
How did the quarterfinal match play out?
The two players fiercely battled throughout a total of 3 sets for a final score of 6-7, 6-7, 4-6, edging for the win.
It was very back-and-forth during the first set, but Tiafoe ultimately came out on top finishing the set only one above Rublev.
During the second set, the games were so ridiculously close. Late in the second set, the two men tied at 6-6, and the tiebreaker ended in Tiafoe’s favor. The American athlete dominated 7-0 ultimately giving him the upper hand of a two-set cushion.
The third set was no different. The set went back and forth until Tiafoe earned the first break of the match to go up 4-3 and claim the third set 6-4.
Tiafoe and Rublev had faced one another twice before Wednesday, with both men winning one match. Rublev defeated the American star at the 2022 Indian Wells, and in 2021, Tiafoe beat Rublev at the U.S. Open in a five-match set.
Who is Frances Tiafoe?
The 24-year-old American tennis star is a Maryland native. He is a huge fan of the Washington Wizards and Washington Nationals. In fact, his friend Bradley Beal was sighted in the U.S. Open stands multiple times this year already.
He is currently ranked No. 22 in the world and won his first and only ATP title at the 2018 Delray Beach Open, where he became the youngest American man to win a tournament on the ATP Tour since Andy Roddick in 2002.
His career record before Wednesday’s match was 127-137. Tiafoe’s furthest ride in a Grand Slam has been making it to the Australian Open quarterfinals in 2019, but now he has gone even further, all the way to the U.S. Open semifinals.
Who will Tiafoe be playing in the semifinals?
Tiafoe will battle the winner of Wednesday night’s quarterfinal match between Italy’s Jannik Sinner and Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz.
Sinner is currently ranked No. 11 and, at only 21 years old, held a 121-54 career record in men’s singles before Wednesday’s match. He has made it to the quarterfinals in four Grand Slam competitions, including the 2020 French Open, the 2022 Australian Open, 2022 Wimbledon and of course the 2022 U.S. Open.
Alcaraz is currently ranked No. 3 and has five ATP Tour singles titles under his belt, including two Masters 1000 titles. The 19-year-old tennis star had his best Grand Slam performances at the 2021 U.S. Open and the 2022 French Open, when he also reached the quarterfinals.
When will Tiafoe’s semifinal match take place?
The semifinal match between Tiafoe and the winner of Jannik-Alcaraz will take place on Friday, Sept. 9 after the women’s semifinal match set for 7 p.m.
How can I watch Tiafoe in the semifinals?
The 2022 U.S. Open will be available to watch on ESPN and ESPN2.
You can also stream the entire tournament with a live TV service provider or watch on Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Android TV, iOS and Android Devices.