For the first time in the US Open semifinals: Tiafoe does what no US professional has been able to do for 16 years

At the US Open, a surprising success story enters the next round: newly promoted Frances Tiafoe is the first American since Andy Roddick to reach the semifinals of the last Grand Slam tournament of the year.

For the first time in the US Open semifinals: Tiafoe does what no US professional has been able to do for 16 years

At the US Open, a surprising success story enters the next round: newly promoted Frances Tiafoe is the first American since Andy Roddick to reach the semifinals of the last Grand Slam tournament of the year. Meanwhile, world number one Iga Swiatek surprised himself.

Frances Tiafoe enchants New York: The 24-year-old is the first local hero since Andy Roddick in 2006 to reach the semifinals of the US Open. The world number 26. prevailed in the quarter-finals on Wednesday with power and finesse 7: 6 (7: 3), 7: 6 (7: 0), 6: 4 against the Russian Andrei Rublev, whose quarter-final curse continues. It was the sixth attempt for the 24-year-old to reach the semi-finals of a Grand Slam tournament - Rublew failed each time. He bravely countered Tiafoe, but in the tie-breaks of the first two sets, the crowd favorite shifted up a gear. In the third set, Rublew could no longer counter.

Tiafoe, who sensationally knocked out Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal in the round of 16 and is now meeting Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz or Italian Jannik Sinner, gives his fans a special story of promotion. As the son of immigrants from Sierra Leone, he fought his way from a humble background to the big stage. His father, Frances Tiafoe Sr., started playing tennis at Junior Tennis Champions Center in the Washington D.C. area in the '90s. as a day laborer - his son trained there for hours every day, who is now finally taking off on the Grand Slam stage.

In the women's category, Iga Swiatek is making great strides towards her second Grand Slam title this year. The 21-year-old Pole prevailed in her quarter-final match 6: 3, 7: 6 (7: 4) against the American Jessica Pegula and is in the semi-finals for the first time in New York. "At the beginning of the tournament I didn't expect to make it to the semi-finals," said Swiatek: "So I'm happy and very proud of myself. She put me under pressure at the end."

Born in Warsaw, she has the best chance of setting another highlight after her second major success at the French Open. Swiatek, who defeated Dortmund's Jule Niemeier in three sets in the round of 16, was the more offensive, active player against Pegula and was never really in danger. On Thursday she will meet Aryna Sabalenka from Belarus, who was the clear winner in a duel with Karolina Pliskova from the Czech Republic 6: 1, 7: 6 (7: 4).

(This article was first published on Thursday, September 08, 2022.)

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