Russian tennis star Andrey Rublev broke down in tears during his match American Francis Tiafoe in heartbreaking scenes in the quarterfinals of the US Open.
Tiafoe supported his Victory over Rafa Nadal A straight-set win over Rublev made him the first American to reach the semifinals of the US Open in 16 years.
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No home player has reached the last four in men’s singles since Andy Roddick in 2006 and Tiafoe is looking to become the first home winner since Roddick won his only Slam title in 2003.
Tiafoe clinched another win in front of an enthusiastic home crowd.
In the closing stages of the game, however, the atmosphere became too much for Rublev.
With the score at 4-3 in the third, Rublev was seen in tears in his chair during the substitution.
Rublev bit down on a tennis ball in pain before crying into his towel.
After a tough few months on the court, Rublev would have ruined a chance to reach a Grand Slam semifinal.
Although a raucous home crowd pushed Tiafoe into the semis, fans felt in the tough scenes with Rublev.
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Tiafoe praised the American crowd after helping Ghim across the line in his first Grand Slam appearance.
“This is wild, this is crazy,” Tiafoe said.
“Biggest win of my life, coming out and hitting another big win. It’s tremendous growth. It’s difficult to turn a page, but I did it and now I’m in the semifinals.
“I feel so at home on places like this. I want to play, I want to do my best. Let’s enjoy this, but we have two other boys.”
American tennis was desperate for its next male Grand Slam singles champion and Tiafoe’s win over Nadal was hailed as the biggest result for the home nation on the men’s side in New York since James Blake defeated the Spaniard in 2005.
His family could not afford tuition or equipment, but he played whenever he could and was taken under the wing of a coach who saw his potential and put him on the path to professional football.
Tiafoe, who received a message of good fortune from the President of Sierra Leone, made Nadal look sluggish with his powerful ball strikes and willingness to get forward, and he was great in the big moments against Rublev.
He saved a set point in the 12th game of the opening set before hitting two excellent tie breaks, particularly the second where he didn’t lose a point.
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