Frances Tiafoe celebrates after defeating Andrey Rublev during their men's singles quarterfinals at the 2022 US Open on Sept. 7, 2022 in New York City.
Frances Tiafoe has seized the moment at this year’s U.S. Open. After defeating 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal in the fourth round, the 24-year-old U.S. Olympian knocked off Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
In doing so, Tiafoe not only reached his first Grand Slam semifinal, but he also became the first American to reach the men’s semis at the U.S. Open since Andy Roddick in 2006.
Tiafoe, who is originally from Maryland, has been a rising star on the U.S. tennis scene for years, and last year at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 he reached the second round in men’s singles.
He reached the fourth round at Wimbledon earlier this summer, matching his career-best performance at a Slam, and then blew that out of the water this week. After beating Nadal, he continued his breakout performance with a 7-6 (3), 7-6 (0), 6-4 win over Rublev. Now he’ll face the winner of No. 3 Carlos Alcaraz of Spain or No. 11 Jannik Sinner of Italy, who are set to meet in the final men’s quarterfinal on Wednesday night.
Roddick remains the last American man to win a Grand Slam singles title, which he did at the 2003 U.S. Open. This marks the longest drought between major championships for U.S. men.
Two U.S. women also reached the quarterfinals but lost there. Coco Gauff, the No. 12 seed, fell 6-3, 6-4 to No. 17 Carolina Garcia of France on Tuesday. No. 8 Jessica Pegula fell to top-seeded Iga Swiatek of Poland 6-3, 7-6 (4) on Wednesday.
Also still alive in the tournament are six U.S. doubles players.
In men’s doubles, Olympic silver medalist Rejeev Ram and British partner Joe Salisbury, the defending champs and No. 1 seeds, won their quarterfinal on Tuesday and face Colombia’s Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in the semis on Thursday.
Of the eight players remaining in the women’s doubles field, four are Americans, representing three different teams. Caty McNally and Taylor Townsend face fellow American Caroline Dolehide and Australia’s Storm Sanders on Friday, while Nichole Melichar-Martinez and Australian partner Ellen Perez face the Czech team of Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova.
And in mixed doubles, the American team of McNally and William Blumberg won their quarterfinal Wednesday and face fourth-seeded Sanders and John Peers of Australia on Thursday.
This year’s U.S. Open wheelchair division has also expanded, with the wheelchair events all doubling in size. The American wheelchair singles players all lost in the first round, but David Wagner, an eight-time Paralympic medalist, is alive in the semifinals of quad singles against No. 2 Sam Schroder of the Netherlands on Friday.
The wheelchair and quad doubles competitions begin Thursday.