Tiafoe beats Rublev; 1st U.S. man in U.S. Open semifinal in 16 years Sakkari through to Parma Open quarterfinals; Stephens loses Sorribes Tormo beats 2nd-seeded Trevisan at Parma Open


NEW YORK. Francis Tiafoe became the first American to reach the semi-finals of the US Open since 2006, defeating Andrey Rublev 7-6 (3), 7-6 (0), 6-4 backed by Arthur Ashe’s rabid fanatical crowd. Stadium.

Maryland-raised Tiafoe, 24, delivered a game as strong, if not stronger, than the one he used to eliminate 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal in the fourth round.

“Dude, dude, this is crazy. This is madness. 24 hours ago I had the biggest win of my life. … This is a huge growth. it’s hard to turn the page,” said Flushing Meadows seed 22nd Tiafoe.

Then, looking ahead and making sure everyone knew that this milestone was not enough to satisfy him, Tiafoe said, “Let’s enjoy it. We have two more guys. We have two more.”

Andy Roddick was the last American to reach the semi-finals in New York when he lost to Roger Federer in a title match 16 years ago. Roddick was also the last person from the country to win any Grand Slam singles championship, winning the 2003 US Open.

In the first Grand Slam semi-final of his career, Tiafoe will face No. 3 Carlos Alcaraz or No. 11 Yannick Sinner.

Tiafoe played aggressive attacking tennis and used 18 aces, along with a strong volley, to edge out No. 9 Rublev, who fell to 0-6 in the main quarter-finals. Tiafoe won 31 of 41 points when he hit the net; Rublev took the lead only 11 times.

In the women’s quarterfinals, No. 6 Arina Sobolenko reached the final four at Flushing Meadows for the second time in a row, beating Karolina Pliskova 6-1, 7-6 (4).

“I am ready for this,” Sobolenko said. “I’m ready for another fight.”

Sobolenko’s next opponent will be No. 1 Iga Swiatek or No. 8 Jessica Pegula, who were supposed to play each other.

Pegula is the last US player in the women’s bracket.

Raindrops began to fall just before the start of Tiafoe against Rublev, so they stood and waited for the sliding roof to be closed. This resulted in both a cool, windless environment as well as a louder one, with cheering and cheers from the fans echoing through what became the indoor arena—circumstances that favored Tiafoe.

The match was dominated by the serve of both – the only break in the serve came more than two hours later, when Tiafoe took the lead 4-3 in the third set, and then stood almost motionless on the court, enjoying the reaction of the stadium – and the most important moments were two tie- break.

Tiafoe is now 6-0 in tiebreaks at this US Open. He excelled at this stage against Rublev, playing for the audience and enjoying a crescendo of applause that reflected the way he raised his performance.

Rublev did have his first chance to take the lead, at 6-5 in the first, but Thiafo wiped him out with a risky right hand for a corner to score a return.

A few minutes later, it was Tiafoe who took the set, finishing it with a 130 mph ace, and then solemnly stepped into his shift, nodding and swinging his racquet to amplify the noise. The crowd was obliged, including Tiafoe’s pal, Washington Wizards defenseman Bradley Beal, seated in his front row seat.

A similar scene played out in the second tie-break after Tiafoe made it 6-0 due to Rublev’s mistake.

As Tiafoe hit back the winning backhand to secure a two-set lead, he rushed to the touchline, sat down next to his filthy collection of towels, shirts and socks scattered on the ground – let’s call it “dorm chic” – and shook himself. his fist amid the delirium of applause.

Tiafoe is definitely a showman. He demonstrated this against Nadal, then again against Rublev, who never concealed his anger at the way things were going.

Rublev hit his leg with a racket or plucked the strings. Again and again he gestured and shouted towards his guest box, where only four of the 15 seats were occupied, in stark contrast to the overcrowded Thiafo section.

“On such courts, I feel at home,” Tiafoe told the crowd. “Guys, stand behind me, I want to play my best.”

PARMA, Italy – First-place finisher Maria Sakkari beat Arancia Rus 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 to advance to the quarter-finals of the Parma Ladies Open.

Sakkari, who accepted a late card wild card for the red clay court tournament, played in her first tournament since losing to Wang Siyu in the second round of the US Open.

The Greek will play Marina Zanevskaya from Belgium, who beat Dalma Galfi 6-1, 6-3.

Fourth-placed Sloane Stevens of the United States, the 2017 US Open champion, lost to Danka Kovinic 7-5, 2-6, 7-5.

Kovinic will face Jasmine Paolini in the quarterfinals after the Italian defeated compatriot Elisabetta Cocciaretto 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

However, there will be an American in the final eight as Lauren Davis rallied to beat Sarah Sorribes Tormo 3–6, 6–4, 7–5. Sorribes Tormo eliminated runner-up Martina Trevisan in straight sets in the first round.

Davis will face Mayar Sheriff after the Egyptian defeated Simone Waltert 6-3, 7-6 (1).

In addition, Romania’s Irina-Camellia Begu, who placed third, overtook Italy’s Matilda Paoletti 6:4, 6:4 to advance to the quarter-finals against Ana Bogdan, who placed sixth, who beat Anna Karolina Shmidlova 6:2, 3:6. 6-3.

PARMA, Italy. Sara Sorribes Tormo beat second-place Martina Trevisan 7-5, 6-0 in the first round of the Parma Ladies Open, marking the third straight first round loss for the French Open semi-finalist this year.

Third seed Irina-Kamelia Begu took the lead when Victoria Tomova retired with Begu leading 7-5, 5-1.

Danka Kovinic defeated Ocean Dodin 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 and will next face 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stevens.

Also on the red clay courts, Egypt’s Mayar Sheriff knocked out fifth-seeded Anna Bondar, 7-5, 6-4; Elisabetta Cocciaretto defeated No. 7 Nuria Parrisas Diaz 7-5, 6-1; and Italian wild card Matilda Paoletti earned her first tour-level win by defeating Romanian Gabriela Li 6-4, 3-6, 6-0.

Source: sports.nbcsports.com