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Tiafoe is the first American man to reach the U.S. Open semifinals since 2006

Frances Tiafoe reacts after winning a tie breaker against Andrey Rublev, of Russia, during the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open tennis championships on Wednesday in New York.
Seth Wenig
/
AP
Frances Tiafoe reacts after winning a tie breaker against Andrey Rublev, of Russia, during the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open tennis championships on Wednesday in New York.

NEW YORK — Frances Tiafoe became the first American man to reach the U.S. Open semifinals since 2006 by beating Andrey Rublev 7-6 (3), 7-6 (0), 6-4 behind the backing of a boisterous partisan crowd in Arthur Ashe Stadium on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old Tiafoe, who grew up in Maryland, put on a performance just as strong, if not stronger, than the one he used to eliminate 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal in the fourth round.

The No. 22-seeded Tiafoe played aggressive, offensive tennis and used 18 aces along with strong net play to oust No. 9 Rublev, a Russian who dropped to 0-6 in major quarterfinals.

Andy Roddick was the last U.S. man to get to the semifinals at Flushing Meadows when he lost to Roger Fededer in the title match 16 years ago. Roddick also was the last man from the country to win any Grand Slam singles championship, taking the 2003 U.S. Open.

Tiafoe's first career Grand Slam semifinal will come Friday against No. 3 Carlos Alcaraz or No. 11 Jannik Sinner.

In the women's quarterfinals Wednesday, No. 6 Aryna Sabalenka earned a second consecutive trip to the final four at Flushing Meadows with a 6-1, 7-6 (4) victory over Karolina Pliskova.

"I'm ready for it," Sabalenka said. "I'm ready for another fight."

Sabalenka's next opponent will be No. 1 Iga Swiatek or No. 8 Jessica Pegula, who were scheduled to play each other Wednesday night.

Pegula is the last player from the United States in the women's bracket.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

The Associated Press