NEW YORK (Reuters) – In a see-saw match, fifth seed Andrey Rublev was defeated 4-6 6-3, 7-6 (6), 4-6 6-1 by American Frances Tiafoe, who advanced to the fourth round of the US Open on Friday.
The home fans fueled by the home fans, who remained behind to celebrate every point the 23-year-old earned in a game that lasted almost four hours and ended at 2:15 a.m. local time.
In his on-court interview, Tiafoe stated, “You guys stayed with me all the way through.”
“I adore these matches… they’re the ones I prepare for. I came here thinking, “I’m going to defeat him.” Let’s continue. “
Rublev won the first set on the strength of a solid service game, but Tiafoe came back in the second to keep the match close.
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Despite the small audience still present, the noise was deafening when the American saved a set point in the third set tiebreak before moving 2-1 ahead.
Rublev recovered his composure in the fourth as he won four straight games to force a decider after falling down 4-2.
But in the fifth, Tiafoe found a new level of energy, and his forehands were quicker and stronger,
giving Rublev little time to calm down as the American swiftly raced to a 5-0 lead before serving out the set.
“I’ve lost a lot of five-setters,” says the player. I’d just been pumped up… Tiafoe, who ended with 69 wins and 23 aces, said, “I wasn’t going to leave this court without winning today.”
Tiafoe will face Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada, who defeated Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3 6-4 4-6 3-6 6-3.
“Felix is another of my close friends, but I’m coming after him.”
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Tennis-Tiafoe stuns Rublev to move into U.S. Open last-16