Frances Tiafoe's Dream Run Continues at U.S. Open, Alcaraz Up Next

Frances Tiafoe's Dream Run Continues at U.S. Open, Alcaraz Up Next
© USA Today

The first week of the U.S. Open essentially served as a tribute to Serena Williams. More than 20,000 fans regularly packed Arthur Ashe Stadium to cheer and get a glimpse of Williams in the final moments of her career.  

But after Williams’ exit, it’s another American who has sent fans into a frenzy at Arthur Ashe. Ever the showman, Frances Tiafoe has managed to utilize his electric style of play to make American history on the men’s side of the draw. Tiafoe dominated Andrey Rublev in a three-set win (7-6, 7-6, 6-4) to become the first American man to make the U.S. Open semifinals since Andy Roddick in 2006.  

“I love to show the world what I can do,” Tiafoe said after his win Wednesday over Rublev. “I just want to go out there and try to give the crowd what they want – and that’s me getting a win.” 

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Tiafoe displayed a dominant service game throughout, with Rublev never able to force a break. Two of his best serves came during the second dominant tiebreak with Tiafoe firing in aces at 134 and 145 mph to go up 5-0.  

“It was the best tiebreaker I ever played,” Tiafoe said. “I was thinking about the first point, I figured I would hit the serve as hard as I could at the T, then I got the first point and things started happening. It was honestly a laughable tiebreaker. You can’t make that up.” 

The only break of serve would come in the third set during the seventh game. A strong forehand by Tiafoe was followed by a drop shot that brought Rublev to the net. Rublev attempted a backhand pass, but it sailed long, bringing one of the most raucous cheers to the stadium. Tiafoe stood and took in the applause, while Rublev retreated to his bench and put his head in his towel in disbelief.  

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In addition to facing a Top 10 player in the semifinals, Tiafoe had to deal with following up the biggest victory of his career. He topped the 22-time Grand Slam Champion, Rafael Nadal, on Monday, giving the Spaniard his only Grand Slam loss of the season.  

“It was the biggest day of my life, and I played some great tennis,” Tiafoe said. “Preparation-wise, you stay in the moment. At the end of the day, it was a huge win, but it was the fourth round. I’ve been in a quarterfinal slam before, and everyone left is looking for that first opportunity to get it done. So, I’m just trying to focus on that and stay in the moment and see where it goes.” 

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U.S. Open Odds for Frances Tiafoe 

Tiafoe will now face the remaining favorite No. 3 Carlos Alcaraz in the semifinals. Alcaraz topped Jannik Sinner in five sets Wednesday night and is now favored to win the U.S. Open at -120 at FanDuel Sportsbook. Tiafoe is a +160 underdog for the matchup with Alcaraz and is now +410 to win the tournament. Tiafoe came in as long as +15000 to win the event.  

Roddick was the last U.S. man to win a Grand Slam, taking the 2003 U.S. Open. Tiafoe is now just the second active American man to reach a major semifinal. John Isner also did it in 2018 at Wimbledon.  

“If you’re truly, truly passionate about something, I think anything can happen,” Tiafoe said. “Right now, I’m just really obsessed with tennis, and I want to see how far I can go with this thing.” 


U.S. Open Odds for Semifinals

Today

Women

Caroline Garcia -152 vs. Ons Jabeur +126, 7 p.m.

Iga Swiatek -210 vs. Aryna Sabalenka +172, 9 p.m.

Friday

Men

Karen Khachanov +162 vs. Casper Ruud -196, 3 p.m.

Carlos Alcaraz -194 vs. Frances Tiafoe +160, 7 p.m.

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