Andrey Rublev again fell short in a Grand Slam quarterfinal as the Russian was beaten in straight sets by American rival Frances Tiafoe in New York on Wednesday.
Appearing at this stage of a Grand Slam for the sixth time, and having lost on all five previous occasions, Rublev continued his unwanted record with a 6-7 (3-7) 6-7 (0-7) 4-6 loss to home favorite Tiafoe at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
A tight opening set saw Tiafoe save a set point on his serve at 5-6 before dominating the tiebreak.
The pattern of both players comfortably holding serve was continued in the second set before 22nd seed Tiafoe – conqueror of Rafael Nadal in the previous round – again stepped up to rout ninth seed Rublev in the tiebreak.
Rublev was broken on his serve in game seven of the third set, proving decisive as Tiafoe fended off three break points from the Russian in the following game to consolidate at 5-3.
Tiafoe saw out the set 6-4 to claim the match as well, becoming the first American men’s singles semifinalist at Flushing Meadows since Andy Roddick in 2006.
The 24-year-old will next play the winner of the quarterfinal between Spanish third seed Carlos Alcaraz and Italian number 11 seed Jannik Sinner.
“This is wild. This is crazy,” said Tiafoe after delighting the home crowd.
“I had the biggest win of my life 24 hours ago [against Nadal] and coming out and getting another big win…
“Andrey’s 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.”
Rublev, meanwhile, was left to rue another missed opportunity at reaching the last four of a Grand Slam.
The 24-year-old was seen covering his tears with his towel as he sat on his chair courtside – earning sympathy from pundits and fans online.
The result means Rublev has lost a hat-trick of quarterfinals in New York, as well as enduring defeats twice at the same stage of the French Open and once at the Australian Open.
The Moscow-born player at least had the consolation of rising back into the ATP top ten as he improves to number nine in the current world rankings.
Russian hopes in New York are now solely pinned on 26-year-old Karen Khachanov, who booked his semifinal spot with an upset win over tournament favorite Nick Kyrgios in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Seeded 27th, Khachanov takes on Norwegian fifth seed Casper Ruud, 23, on Friday, with a place in Sunday’s championship match at stake.
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