NEW YORK – Frances Tiafoe became the first American to reach the semifinals of the US Open since 2006 by defeating Andrey Rublev 7-6 (3), 7-6 (0), 6-4 behind the support of a Loud partisan crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Wednesday.
Tiafoe, 24, who grew up in Maryland, put on a performance just as strong, if not stronger, than the one he used to knock out 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal in the fourth round.
Tiafoe, seeded No. 22, played aggressive, attacking tennis and used 18 aces with solid net play to oust No. 9 Rublev, a Russian who fell 0-6 in the major quarter-finals.
Andy Roddick was the last American to advance to the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows when he lost to Roger Fededer in the title match 16 years ago. Roddick was also the last man in the country to win a Grand Slam singles championship, winning the 2003 US Open.
Tiafoe’s first career Grand Slam semi-final will be on Friday against No. 3 Carlos Alcaraz or No. 11 Jannik Sinner.
In the women’s quarterfinals on Wednesday, No. 6 Aryna Sabalenka earned her second consecutive trip to the last four at Flushing Meadows with a 6-1, 7-6(4) victory over Karolina Pliskova.
“I’m ready for this,” 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 face each other on Wednesday night.
Pegula is the last player from the United States in the women’s group.