Tiafoe: ‘Like Cinderella, I’m living my dream’

Frances Tiafoe beats Andrey Rublev in three sets (7-6 7-6 6-4) and continues to dream big. The American is the youngest American in the semifinal at the US Open since 2006, the semifinal where he will find Carlos Alcaraz. Forward also Swiatek and Sabalenka who will face each other for a place in the final.

FRANCES TIAFOE
“I played really well, very aggressive, without flaws. I have faced Andrey since the juniors, we know each other well. I felt much more comfortable this time than in the match against Rafa, when I was not at all sure I could do it. Today I was and this has been seen on the pitch ”.

“All of us Americans push each other on. Fritz won Indian Wells this year. Opelka made it to the final in Toronto last year. Fritz and I played well at Wimbledon, where we could have reached the semifinals. It is a coincidence that I am still the one left in the race but I am sure that next year, in the Grand Slams, others will do exactly the same. American tennis is in a great time. We are all entering our heyday and we will see where it takes us ”.

“Everywhere there is talk of my victory against Nadal. He was crazy. The most important day of my life. I played great tennis. I couldn’t sleep that night while I slept great last night. Everyone wants to make it and I’m just trying to focus on staying in the moment. We’ll see how it turns out”.

“For the first time in the final part of the Grand Slams there are no big names and someone could feel bad from the pressure. It is not known what will happen. Before when you came to play against them you had no hope ”.

“I love playing in front of a packed stadium, that’s why we train hard. To show the world what we can do. It makes me feel good when people appreciate good tennis, especially in my country. Seeing how many people cheer me on means a lot. I just want to take the field and try to give the audience what they want, which is the victory. If you are truly, truly passionate about something, I think anything can happen. Since I was a child, tennis was my life, the only thing I really watched was the Tennis Channel. Right now I’m really hooked on tennis and I want to see how far I can go. Everyone loves Cinderella’s tale. I’m just trying to make my own. “

ARYNA SABALENKA

“Difficult match, as always against Karolina. I think I started very well, and the first set was really high for me and I put a lot of pressure on her – it was really great. In the second I knew she would try to get back into the game and she would level up. I tried to keep her serve and put her under pressure ”.

“I have added a new coach to my team and he is helping me a lot with the serve, we have worked a lot on it. Who is? I don’t know the surname (laughs, ed), but I only know the name: Gavin. I’m having a good time and I’m glad it is. Sometimes things don’t go quite the way I would like and sometimes I don’t feel a few hits. I just try to work on it and do my best ”.

“Not being able to play in London was difficult. When I was working out in the gym and Wimbledon was on TV, I always turned off the TV because I couldn’t watch it. I have so many good memories and I have missed them a lot. This is why I was unable to look at it, my thoughts went to the good times I spent there. But I took the opportunity to do another pre-season. I worked very hard, especially on the serve. The political situation is difficult and there is a lot of pressure, but I try to think that I am just an athlete, to give my best and to make sure that people enjoy watching my games. During Wimbledon I was in Miami and not in Belarus, and in addition to work I also enjoyed a few days off, some great restaurants and then the beach. Miami is beautiful, I have a second home there ”.

“Iga (Swiatek, ed) is a great player, against her they are always difficult games. She moves great, she hits the ball very well and serves well. She is a tough opponent, but I will do my best and make her sweat as much as possible. After this complicated season in which I couldn’t play my best, I stayed focused and now I’m back in the semifinals. It will be tough and I know I have to fight to win. One thing is certain: I will fight on every point ”.

“Losing all those points in the ranking after Wimbledon by absurdity I think took the pressure off me. He helped me. I had already been in this condition when I won Wuhan and played a good season finale and then, in the next one, things didn’t go as I hoped. So it’s kind of a second time for me. Meanwhile, I enjoy a good restaurant. No matter where I am, I always go to eat Italian ”.

IGA SWIATEK

“I am very proud because I feel that I am playing better and better every match. Jessica (Pegula, ed) was certainly a difficult opponent. The second set was very close. We both fought to the last point. I am happy to have managed to win the last set. It seems to me that something has clicked, I was able to use my intuition a little more and I didn’t force myself to take all the technically correct steps, it was all more natural ”.

“It was my first night match on Ashe and it was definitely different. A bit more noisy environment, but I was able to handle the situation and this is the most important thing for me. I honestly had such a high level of concentration that I didn’t actually notice most of the things around. It is a positive note. When we play we must be able to stay focused only on what happens on the pitch ”.

“With Aryna (Sabalenka, ed) every game is different. In each of these games I had a totally different level of confidence, so it’s hard to make a comparison. In Doha it was not the beginning of the winning streak but it was the first game in which I realized I could play really solidly against the top 10. Aryna was playing great. That match really gave me hope and motivation for the future. In Stuttgart I felt like I kept doing what I had done in the last two tournaments. But this is a Grand Slam here. For sure I will work to keep my level of concentration and determination high ”.

“The level of play I expressed here surprised me and I had more patience for the mistakes that inevitably are made. After the defeats in Toronto and Cincinnati I didn’t expect to play so well and this absurdly helped me because it put me in a position to be almost an outsider “.

Tiafoe: ‘Like Cinderella, I’m living my dream’