Frances Tiafoe makes U.S. Open semifinals, ends American men’s drought

·2 min read
Frances Tiafoe
Frances Tiafoe

Frances Tiafoe beat Andrey Rublev to become the first American man to reach the U.S. Open semifinals since Andy Roddick in 2006.

Tiafoe, a 24-year-old ranked 26th in the world, took out the 11th-ranked Russian Rublev 7-6 (3), 7-6 (0), 6-4 for his best run ever in a Grand Slam tournament.

The victory came two days after Tiafoe ousted 22-time major champion Rafael Nadal, becoming the first American born in 1988 or later to beat Nadal, Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer at a Slam.

“Had the biggest win of my life 24 hours ago, and coming out and getting another big win — Andrey’s a hell of a player — to back it up, that’s huge growth,” he said. “Let’s enjoy this one. We’ve got two more [matches to win] guys.”

Tiafoe, the son of immigrants from Sierra Leone who as a kid slept at the tennis center where his dad was a janitor, gets fourth-ranked Carlos Alcaraz of Spain or 13th-ranked Jannik Sinner of Italy in Friday’s semifinals.

Since Roddick was runner-up at the 2006 U.S. Open, four different American men combined to reach the U.S. Open quarterfinals seven times, all of them losing, before Tiafoe this year. Tiafoe is the first American man to reach the semifinals of any Slam since John Isner at 2018 Wimbledon.

The last U.S. man to make a major final was Roddick at 2009 Wimbledon. Roddick was also the last U.S. man to win a major at the 2003 U.S. Open. Both of those droughts are by far the longest in U.S. men’s tennis in history.

U.S. OPEN DRAWS: Women | Men

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