"Tough to turn the page, but I did and now I'm in the semis. I always find a way somehow on this court," Tiafoe said. "Let's enjoy this one -- we've got two more, guys. Two more."
The player becomes first Black American man to reach the semifinals since 1972.
Frances Tiafoe took down Andrey Rublev in straight sets Wednesday during the U.S. Open quarterfinals at Arthur Ashe Stadium, becoming the first American man to make the tournament's semifinals since Andy Roddick in 2006. The 24-year-old from Maryland is also the first Black American man to make the U.S. Open semifinals since Arthur Ashe in 1972.
The No. 22 seed Tiafoe claimed a 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-0), 6-4 victory over the No. 9 seed Rublev. This was Tiafoe's second career Grand Slam quarterfinal, and he entered it with confidence and momentum after upsetting Rafael Nadal in four sets during the Round of 16. That was not a small feat, as Nadal went into that match with 22 consecutive Grand Slam victories, having made at least the quarterfinal of each of the last 16 majors he participated in since the 2017 U.S. Open.
"Man, this is wild. This is crazy," Tiafoe said during his post-match interview. "Having the biggest win of my life 24 hours ago and coming out and getting another big win."
After the win over Rublev, Tiafoe had the crowd roaring as he celebrated by doing a little dance.
Although Rublev kept it close and was able to take the first two sets to tiebreaks, he wasn't able to stop Tiafoe, who is now 6-0 in tiebreakers at this year's U.S. Open. Rublev was visibly frustrated, particularly during the second tiebreaker -- which Tiafoe dominated 7-0 -- and reacted by slamming the racket against his knees. He hit the racket so hard that he had to swap it out.
Tiafoe is currently chasing his first Grand Slam title, and although he is excited about how far he has made it in New York, he knows the job is not done yet. He will take on either Jannik Sinner or Carlos Alcaraz on Friday night.
Tiafoe has a chance to end a long drought for the Americans, who have gone 74 consecutive majors without a title in a men's competition -- the longest losing streak in U.S. tennis history. No American man has won the U.S. Open since Roddick took the title in 2003. The pressure is on Tiafoe, but he seems to be ready for the challenge.
This story was originally published by CBS Sports on Sept. 7, 2022.