American tennis player Frances Tiafoe is making history with his wins in the U.S. Open at Arthur Ashe stadium. On Wednesday, he became the first U.S. man to advance to the U.S. Open semifinals since Andy Roddick in 2006, reported The Associated Press.
He is also the first Black American man to secure a spot in the semifinals at Flushing Meadows since Arthur Ashe in 1972, per Reuters. Tiafoe's historic win against Russian tennis pro Andrey Rublev in the fourth round followed another milestone win against 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal. He celebrated that win in front of a roaring crowd of spectators, including his predecessor, Roddick.
The game was also attended by his agent Jill Smoller, who represents Serena Williams, Tiafoe's twin brother, and their parents. His family emigrated to the U.S. from Sierra Leone to escape a civil war. Tiafoe and his brother eventually took up tennis after their father helped build a junior tennis center in Maryland.
After his historic win over Rublev, Tiafoe told the press, "Every time I win, I just want to inspire a bunch of people to know that anything is possible," according to AP.
If he continues to be successful, he will be on track to be the first American man to win a Grand Slam in nearly two decades.