Francis Tiafoe continued to rise to the occasion and hefty expectations to reach the US Open semi-final with a win over Russia’s Andrey Rublev, as he looks to become the first American in the men’s draw to reach the stage since Andy Roddick way back in 2003.

Tiafoe’s name was suddenly thrust into the conversation for a surprise winner after the American ousted the heavy favourite Rafael Nadal. 

He continued to make a case for himself with a 7-6(3) 7-6(0) 6-4 draining win over Rublev.

In a thrilling contest, the two battled on equal footing with Rublev matching the American all the way until the second set tie break in which he failed to secure a single point. His frustration was evident when he shouted in anger and whacked his racket after an ace from the American flew past him.

Tiafoe then managed to secure the only break of the match in the seventh game of the third set after another stunning 16-shot rally leaving the Russian looking dejected.

He sealed the contest with an ace, becoming the first Black American man to reach a US Open semi-final since Arthur Ashe 50 years ago, playing in the stadium named after the former champion.

In the US Open semi-final, Francis Tiafoe will be up against either Carlos Alcaraz or Jannik Sinner while Casper Ruud and Karen Khachanov will contest the other semifinal.

With Serena Williams and Jessica Pegula out, Tiafoe is the USA’s only hope of a hometown winner at this year’s competition.

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