NEW YORK – Frances Tiafoe of the United States defeated Andrey Rublev in straight sets to power into the semi-finals of the US Open on Wednesday.
Tiafoe, aiming to become the first African-American man to win the US Open since Arthur Ashe in 1968, put on a scintillating performance to defeat Russian ninth seed Rublev 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/0), 6-4 in 2hr 36min.
It was another superb giant-killing performance from the 24-year-old Tiafoe, who had eliminated Spanish legend Rafael Nadal in the fourth round on Tuesday.
Tiafoe, seeded 22nd, will face either Spanish third seed Carlos Alcaraz or Jannik Sinner in the last four on Friday.
“Man this is wild, this is crazy,” Tiafoe said after his victory at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“Having the biggest win of my life 24 hours ago and coming out and getting another big win. Andrey’s a hell of a player, so to back it up is huge growth.
“Tough to turn the page but I did and now I’m in the semis…I always find a way somehow on this court. Let’s enjoy this one – we’ve got two more guys, two more.”
Tiafoe’s victory was founded on a rock-solid service game and a mastery of the key moments.
The American hammered down 18 aces and was never broken once against Rublev, who was aiming to reach his first Grand Slam semi-final after five previous quarter-final exits.
Crucially, Rublev was unable to take any of four break points that came his way during a high-quality contest settled by fine margins.
The Russian 24-year-old had a break point at 6-5 in the first set but was unable to convert as Tiafoe battled back to hold.
Tiafoe then showed the greater composure in the tie-break to seal it with an ace for a one-set lead.