The Frances Tiafoe show continues as he takes out Andrey Rublev: ‘Let’s enjoy this one, we’ve got two more’
Frances Tiafoe followed up his brilliant win over Rafael Nadal with another superb display against Andrey Rublev to become the first Black man to reach the US Open semi-final since Arthur Ashe in 1972.
The American admitted earlier in the tournament that he wanted to fly under the radar, but he is now firmly in the spotlight as he is only two wins away from a maiden Grand Slam title.
It was a clinical performance from the 22nd seed as he won two tie-breakers and then grabbed the only break of the game in the third set for a 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-0), 6-4 win in front of thousands of delirious fans on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Tiafoe, looking to become the first American man to reach a Grand Slam final since Andy Roddick won the 2003 US Open, really had the perfect game plan as he often drew his opponent out wide with powerful groundstrokes before delivering some killer drop shots.
Frances Tiafoe is 6-0 in tiebreaks at this US Open.
He saved 4/4 break points today against Rublev.
Struck 18 aces, won 88% of his 1st serve points, and 63% on his 2nd serve.
— Reem Abulleil (@ReemAbulleil) September 7, 2022
Rublev had a sniff in game six of the opening set as he had two break points, but the home favourite saved them both. Five games later and Tiafoe had a break point, but the Russian stood firm. There was a set point for Rublev in game six, but it went to a tie-breaker and Tiafoe edged it.
Both players were excellent on serve in the second set as there was not a single break point, but Tiafoe upped the ante in the tie-breaker as he steamrolled his rival, at one point he delivered the deftest of touches to win a drop shot.
After Rublev saved two break points in game three of the third set, the door opened again in game seven and this time the American made no mistake as he claimed the first break of the game.
The ninth seed then had two chances to break back immediately, but there was no way past the brick wall that was Tiafoe.
He then held serve to force the American to serve it out and serve it out he did as he held to love, finishing with an ace to reach his first-ever Grand Slam semi-final.
“This is wild, this is crazy. I had the biggest win of my life 24 hours ago and to come back and get another big win – Andrey is a hell of a player – that is huge growth, it’s tough to turn the page, but I did and now I am in the semis,” he said.
After thanking the crowd for their support he added: “I always have some fun on this court and play some great tennis. Let’s enjoy this one guys, we’ve got two more [matches to go], we’ve got two more.”
The 24-year-old will face either Carlos Alcaraz or Jannik Sinner in the semi-final and the winner of that clash will face the winner of the Karen Khachanov-Casper Ruud encounter.
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