For a while now, male players from the United States have been determined to rise to the top ranks of professional tennis. And at this year’s US Open, it seems that their efforts have paid off.
In 2005, three American players advanced to the quarterfinals of the men’s tournament, ensuring that at least one US athlete would make it to the semifinals.
Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe and Ben Shelton were the trio still harboring dreams of winning a home grand slam. Not since Andy Roddick in 2003 has an American man won the US Open.
Shelton has secured his spot in the semifinals for Team USA after triumphing over Tiafoe with a score of 6-2 3-6 7-6(7) 6-2 on Wednesday. However, Fritz was unable to advance as he was defeated by 23-time grand slam champion Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals with a final score of 6-1 6-4 6-4 earlier in the day.
Andre Agassi, James Blake, and Robby Ginepri were the previous trio of American players to make it to the quarterfinals of the men’s competition. This occurred 18 years ago when Agassi advanced to the final but ultimately lost to Roger Federer.
Since both Djokovic and Spanish player Carlos Alcaraz are still participating in the event, the chances of a local player winning this year are slim, but not entirely out of the question.
Fritz, ranked 9th in the world, stated that the spirits of the US team were uplifted and observing others achieve success inspired him to perform better.
According to the US Open website, he stated that for a significant amount of time, our accomplishments and actions serve as motivation for others to believe in their own potential.
Fritz, who has solidified his position in the Top 10 in the past year, faced the toughest opponent on Tuesday.
At the match against Djokovic, he was up against possibly the greatest tennis player ever. However, the 25-year-old American confidently stated that he would not be intimidated by the moment.
“I will not exaggerate or change my approach simply because I am playing against Novak,” he stated to reporters after making it to the quarterfinals.
“I am going to focus on my game and trust that if I perform well, it will be sufficient.”
“He is Bugs Bunny.”
Taifoe and Shelton encountered distinct challenges.
The two are familiar with each other. Tiafoe, ranked 10th in the world, was expected to be the front-runner for the match as he aimed for his second consecutive appearance in the US Open semifinals. He had only lost one set in the tournament leading up to Tuesday night.
His 20-year-old opponent, though, certainly had the skills to cause Tiafoe problems. The youngster has a booming serve and an impressive forehand.
Tiafoe shared with reporters about his upcoming match against Shelton, describing it as a significant event. He compared his opponent to Bugs Bunny, noting their shared trait of having boundless and lively energy.
“He plans to pursue me, and I plan to pursue him. It will be an epic battle, and we will both compete fiercely.”
Shelton caused an upset by defeating his fellow American, Tommy Paul, and advanced to the quarterfinals of the US Open for the first time. This achievement was on par with his performance at the Australian Open earlier this year, where he also reached the quarterfinals.
This serves as more proof of his remarkable climb from being ranked outside the Top 100 last year to his current standing as the 47th best player in the world.
“I have truly developed my mental toughness,” Shelton stated before the Tiafoe game, describing his progress since the Australian Open.
“While playing in Australia after a tiring week, I glanced at my box and thought to myself, ‘My legs feel exhausted. I am so tired and cannot continue.'”
“I have come to understand the significance of having faith in myself and believing that I am capable of persevering both emotionally and physically. This newfound conviction is now ingrained within me.”