Frances Tiafoe advanced to her first Grand Slam quarterfinal after defeating Andrey Rublev in straight sets in front of her home crowd at the US Open.
In New York, the 24-year-old American defeated the ninth-seeded Russian 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-0) 6-4.
After shocking Rafael Nadal in the previous round, Tiafoe will face either Carlos Alcaraz of Spain or Jannik Sinner of Italy in the semifinals.
They compete in the men’s singles championship quarterfinal (around 01:30 BST).
This is insane; this is wild. I just had the most significant victory of my life. It’s challenging to go on, but I did, and I’m here in the semifinals,” said Tiafoe, the first American to get to the US Open semifinals since Andy Roddick in 2006.
On such courts, I feel so at home. Astonishing how this court operates.
“On this court, I always seem to find a way. So enjoy this one, but there are two more to come.
In the early going of their third encounter with Tiafoe, world number 11 Rublev, who has now been in six major quarterfinals without progressing, seemed the more threatening. He was the first to threaten with two break chances in the sixth game of the first set.
He continued to pressure Tiafoe despite being saved, but after saving his first break chance, he failed to convert a set point opportunity as the American pushed the first game into a tie-break.
Tiafoe then seized charge in front of a supportive crowd, winning the opening set with an ace on his second set point.
The second set again ended on serve, but if there were any underlying issues with Rublev’s poise, they burst during the tie-break.
Rublev’s fury flared as he repeatedly slammed his racquet on his knee. His rage increased as Tiafoe commanded the Arthur Ashe crowd at 6-0 up before sealing up the tie-break bagel. Tiafoe has not lost a tie-break yet in this event.
Finally, in the third set, Tiafoe broke serve for the first time in standard play, leaving Rublev inconsolable. After having two break points saved four games earlier, the 22nd seed had third-game luck.
After surviving a challenging second game and having to save two break opportunities with one of his 18 aces, Tiafoe went on to serve out the match and became the first black American man to advance to the round of 16 since Arthur Ashe in 1972.
When the rankings are released the following week, victory guarantees he will make his maiden appearance in the top 20 worldwide.