SportsMoney Frances Tiafoe’s U. S. Open Run Comes To an End At The Hands Of 19-Year-Old Carlos Alcaraz Adam Zagoria Contributor Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
I'm a basketball and tennis insider Following New! Follow this author to stay notified about their latest stories. Got it! Sep 9, 2022, 11:55pm EDT | New! Click on the conversation bubble to join the conversation Got it! Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin Frances Tiafoe, of the United States, reacts after scoring a point against Carlos Alcaraz, of Spain, . .
. [+] during the semifinals of the U. S.
Open tennis championships, Friday, Sept. 9, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) Copyright 2022 The Associated Press.
All rights reserved. The first week of the U. S.
Open was all about Serena Williams leaving. The second week has been all about Frances Tiafoe arriving. Tiafoe, the 24-year-old son of immigrants from Sierra Leone who grew up in Hyattsville, Md.
, stirred the imagination of the tennis world — and the sports world in general — by upsetting 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal and then becoming the first American man since 2006 to reach the U. S. Open semifinals, and the first black man since Arthur Ashe in 1972.
But his dramatic run came to end Friday night at the hands of the game’s preeminent rising star, 19-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-1, 6-7 (5), 6-3 in 4 hours, 18 minutes, in front of a full house in Arthur Ashe Stadium. Michelle Obama, Larry Fitzgerald and Jon Bon Jovi were among the stars contributing to an electric atmosphere in Ashe, where courtside seats were going for $6,000 and nosebleeds for $300. “I gave everything I had, I gave everything I had the last two weeks,” Tiafoe told Patrick McEnroe and the crowd before limping off the court to cheers.
“Honestly, I came here wanting to win the U. S. Open.
I feel like I let you guys down, this one really hurts. You’re a helluva player [he told Alcaraz], a helluva person. I’m going to come back and I will win this thing one day, I’m sorry guys.
” Alcaraz, the No. 3 seed, will face No. 5 Casper Ruud of Norway , in Sunday’s final with each playing for his first major title and the No.
1 world ranking. MORE FOR YOU WWE Extreme Rules 2021 Results: Winners, News And Notes As Roman Reigns Beats The Demon The World’s Highest-Paid Soccer Players 2021: Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo Reclaims Top Spot From PSG’s Lionel Messi The Good, Bad And Ugly From The Green Bay Packers’ Win Over The San Francisco 49ers “Well, it’s amazing to be able to fight for big things,” Alcaraz said. “First time in a final of a Grand Slam, I can see the No.
1 in the world but at the same time it’s so far away. I have one more to go against a player who plays unbelievable. He played the final of a Grand Slam in Roland Garros but this is my first time.
I’m going to give everything. I will have to handle the nerves of being in a final of a Grand Slam but obviously I’m really really happy. I’m going to enjoy the moment and let’s see what happen.
” Carlos Alcaraz, of Spain, celebrates scoring a point against Frances Tiafoe, of the United States, . . .
[+] during the semifinals of the U. S. Open tennis championships, Friday, Sept.
9, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
The winner of the final will take home $2. 6 million and the runner-up $1. 3 million.
At one point in the first set, Michelle Obama gave Tiafoe the thumbs up, and he gave her one back. LeBron James is also a fan of Tiafoe’s, sending a supportive Tweet after his last match. Alcaraz was coming off playing two matches that lasted longer than the Godfather trilogy, including a 5-hour, 15-minute quarterfinal over Jannik Sinner that ended at 2:50 a.
m. Thursday. He didn’t leave the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center until 5 a.
m. Thursday. “I don’t think it’s too much to say it was one of the greatest matches we’ve ever seen at the Open, even though it was a quarter,” John McEnroe said on air.
If Alcaraz was fatigued from that match, or overwhelmed by the moment, it didn’t show. He once again calmly and coolly went five sets for the third straight match — joining Stefan Edberg and Andre Agassi among men to win three straight five-setters to reach a final. And he did so despite Tiafoe winning two tiebreaks, improving to a record 8-0 in breakers in one U.
S. Open. In the decisive fifth, Alcaraz broke Tiafoe in the first game, his seventh break of the match.
Tiafoe broke back for for 2-all, but Tiafoe then lost the next game at love, double-faulting to lose the game. With Tiafoe serving at 2-5 at triple-match point, he erased two match points with an ace up the T and a service winner. On his fourth match point, Alcaraz closed it out when Tiafoe hit an awkward backhand into the net.
In the first set tiebreaker, Tiafoe raced out a to a 6-3 lead and Alcaraz worked his way back to 6-all, only to double-fault away the set on set point. With that, Tiafoe improved to 7-0 in breakers at this Open, tying a mark set by Pete Sampras in 2000. He would break that mark in the fourth.
In the second set, Tiafoe’s level dipped just enough for Alcaraz to get a break in the sixth game when the American hit a forehand wide on break point, giving the Spaniard a 4-2 lead. He held to close out the second set and then raced through the third set, handing Tiafoe three breaks of serve. Trailing 1-0 in the fourth set, the fans began to chant “Let’s go, Frances,” to urge him on.
But it didn’t matter. On break point at 0-1, Tiafoe tried a touch-volley forehand that Alcaraz raced down, only to rip a two-handed backhand winner for 2-0. But Tiafoe fought back to get 4-all, feeding off the crowd’s energy.
Serving at 4-5, Tiafoe fought off a match point after a long rally with a backhand drop shot winner, giving Alcaraz — who loves to employ the drop shot — a dose of his own medicine. In the tiebreak, Tiafoe cranked a 133-mph service winner to go ahead 6-5. With Alcaraz serving at set point, the Spaniard cranked a forehand wide, sending the match to a fifth set.
“Well we are in a semifinal of a Grand Slam,” Alcaraz said. “We have to give everything we have inside. We have to fight until the last ball, you know.
It doesn’t matter if we are fighting for five hours, six hours, you have to give everything on court. Frances gave everything on court, so it’s amazing. ” Frances Tiafoe from the United States in the semi-finals of the U.
S. Open tennis tournament, Friday. .
. . [+] Sept.
9, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Vera Nieuwenhuis) Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
With the loss by Tiafoe, Andy Roddick will remain the last American man to both win a major — at the 2003 U. S. Open — and to reach a major final — at Wimbledon in 2009.
“I think U. S. tennis is very strong now,” Ferreira said.
“He's been pushed quite nicely by Tommy Paul and Taylor Fritz and [Brandon] Nakashima, [Sebastian] Korda, [Jenson] Brooksby, all of these guys. “You know, they are all friends yet. .
. they have grown up together and stuff. I think that is helping a lot, that he has his compatriots around him that are happy for him and pushing him.
I think that's been very, very key. ” Tiafoe’s run no doubt inspired his fellow American players — of all ages — but for the time being they remain unable to break through to a major final — or to win that elusive major title. Follow me on Twitter .
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