10sBalls.com • TennisBalls.com

Frances Tiafoe follows up win over Rafael Nadal by booking spot in U.S. Open semifinals

Frances Tiafoe reacts during his US Open win over Andrey Rublev. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

By Ricky Dimon

It has never been easy for players on the pro tour–men and women alike–to follow up milestone moments with another successful effort the next time they take the court.

It was no problem, however, for Frances Tiafoe.

Coming off the biggest win of his career, right around 48 hours later Tiafoe defeated Andrey Rublev 7-6(3), 7-6(0), 6-4 in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open on Wednesday afternoon. The American, who upset 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal in the fourth round, produced another consistently high level of tennis to advance past Rublev after two hours and 36 minutes.

Tiafoe is looking to become the first American man since Andy Roddick at Wimbledon in 2009 to reach a Grand Slam final. If the 24-year-old captures the title, he would be the first American slam champion on the men’s side since Roddick at the 2003 U.S. Open. He is also the first black man from the United States to reach the semifinals at Flushing Meadows since Arthur Ashe in 1972.

Tiafoe did it, of course, on the court named after none other than Arthur Ashe.

“I feel so at home on courts like this,” the 22nd seed said. “This court is unbelievable. [The crowd] gets so far behind me, I want to play, I want to give my best. I always find a way somehow on this court; I always play some great tennis.

“This is wild. This is crazy. I had the biggest win of my life [48] hours ago and coming out and getting another big win–Andrey is a hell of a player–and to back it up, that’s huge. It’s tough to turn the page, but I did and now I’m in the semis.”

With Tiafoe in impressive form and the draw more wide open than at any other slam in recent memory, there is no telling how far he could go.

He is already making history. He could make even more.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.