About 20 minutes after becoming the first American man to reach the U.S. Open semifinals since 2006, Frances Tiafoe gathered with a large group of friends in the lobby of Arthur Ashe Stadium, including guard Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards, an All-Star.
Huge smiles and heartfelt hugs were exchanged by all. Let’s pose for a dope photo, Tiafoe yelled, and they complied. When someone shouted, “Throw up a ‘Dub!’,” the nine-person line stood as one and Tiafoe and the others joined thumbs and index fingers on both hands to create a “W” (as in “Win”).
The girlfriend of Tiafoe rushed through a set of double doors, jumped into his arms, kissed him, and then removed lipstick from his mouth.
Tiafoe, who is unquestionably a showman and has worked hard for years to achieve this kind of success on prominent stages, is undoubtedly enjoying the experience, as are his friends, his parents, and the ardent supporters who last celebrated an American man winning a Grand Slam trophy twenty years ago.
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.
At Flushing Meadows, the 24-year-old Tiafoe, who is seeded 22nd, said, “I love to show the world what I can accomplish.” I simply want to attempt to give the crowd what they want, which is for me to win.
The last American to advance to the semifinals in New York was Andy Roddick, who was present in the Ashe bleachers on Wednesday. Roddick fell to Roger Federer in the final 16 years ago. Roddick won the 2003 U.S. Open, making him the last citizen of the man to claim any Grand Slam singles title.
This time, none of the men still in the bracket have ever claimed a significant victory. Friday’s semifinal matchup pits Tiafoe against either No. 11 Jannik Sinner or No. 3 Carlos Alcaraz.
“Such a wonderful young man, Frances. Nice individuals experience good things, “Stacey Allaster, the competition’s director, stated. No matter how he places, this has been a huge step forward for his career, and he will only build on the knowledge and success gained from this U.S. Open.
With the assistance of Tiafoe’s coach, former professional player Wayne Ferreira, who claimed the player wasn’t “really professional enough” in the past and highlighted significant changes to his eating habits (there had been too much chocolate and cookies and not enough breakfasts), practise, and gym work, the player has made progress.
To get to where we are now, gradually, has taken time, according to Ferreira. I had a vague notion that he would be at his peak by the end of the next year.
On Wednesday, Tiafoe defeated Rublev, a Russian who fell to 0-6 in major quarterfinals, by playing aggressive, offensive tennis, never getting broken, and using 18 aces in addition to powerful volleying. Rublev only attempted to move forward 11 times while Tiafoe scored 31 of his 41 points when he went to the net.
Wednesday’s women’s quarterfinal featured No. 6 Aryna Sabalenka defeated Karolina Pliskova 6-1, 7-6 (4) to get to the final four at Flushing Meadows for the second time in a row.
Sabalenka declared, “I’m prepared for it. I’m prepared for another battle.
The next opponent for Sabalenka will either be No. 8 Jessica Pegula or No. 1 Iga Swiatek, who squared off on Wednesday.
The final American participant in the women’s bracket is Pegula.
They waited for the retractable roof to close shortly before Tiafoe vs. Rublev began as raindrops started to fall. This created an atmosphere that was cooler, wind-free, and louder, with cheers and cries from supporters echoing in what became an inside arena. These conditions suited Tiafoe.
The lone service break occurred after more than two hours, when Tiafoe led 4-3 in the third set and mostly remained still on the court while basking in the avalanche of support. Tiafoe is 6-0 in tiebreakers at this U.S. Open; the other crucial moments occurred at the end of the first two sets.
At 6-5 in the opening set, Rublev really had the first opportunity to go ahead, but Tiafoe thwarted him with a daring forehand to the corner that produced a netted response.
A few minutes later, Tiafoe claimed the set, capping it with a 130 mph ace, before strutting to the changeover and requesting more noise with his racket.
In the second tiebreaker, when Tiafoe’s drop volley made it 6-0, Rublev’s error was followed by a similar situation.
Call it “college dorm room chic” or, in his words, “diabolical,” but Tiafoe ran to the sidelines, plopped down beside his disorganised collection of towels, shirts, and socks sprawled all across the ground, and waved his fist amid the insanity of a standing ovation.
Best tiebreaker I’ve ever played, according to Tiafoe. “Really a ridiculous tiebreaker. That is not a fabrication.”
Rublev never made an attempt to conceal his rage at the state of affairs. He pounded his strings or whacked himself in the leg with his racket. In contrast to Tiafoe’s entirely filled section, he repeatedly gestured and roared at his guest box, where just four of the 15 seats were occupied.
There was Ferreira. The same can be said about Serena Williams’ agent, Jill Smoller, who also represents Tiafoe. Franklin, Tiafoe’s twin brother, and their parents, who left Sierra Leone during the country’s civil conflict in the 1990s, immigrated to the United States. Dad assisted in the construction of a youth tennis facility in Maryland where he later worked as a maintenance man, inspiring Frances and Franklin to take up a racket.
“Yes, it’s a fantastic tale. I hope a movie will be made about it someday “added Ferreira. “But first, he has to win the Grand Slam. Only when you succeed do you get movies.”
Continuing with that concept, the athlete who is known as “Everyone like Cinderella stories, according to Big Foe. only attempting to build one”
Good news thus far,
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