Frances Tiafoe beat Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open on Wednesday, becoming the first American man to reach the Open semifinals since Andy Roddick in 2006.
Tiafoe, ranked 26th in the world, defeated the 11th-ranked Russian Rublev 7-6 (3), 7-6 (0), 6-4 for his best performance ever in a Grand Slam tournament. Two days earlier, he upset 22-time major champion Rafael Nadal to become the first American born in 1988 or later to beat Nadal, Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer at a Grand Slam.
After the match, Tiafoe reminded the exuberant crowd, “we’ve got two more [matches to] win, guys.”
He later said, “Everyone loves a Cinderella story. Just trying to make one.”
Tiafoe made more history, becoming the first African American man to reach a U.S. Open semifinal since Arthur Ashe, doing it on the court which bears Ashe’s name.