The Arthur Ashe Stadium is braced in the early hours of Saturday morning (12am, UK time) for the second US Open men’s semi-final between precocious teenager Carlos Alcaraz and homegrown sensation Frances Tiafoe.
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There will be an overwhelming cheer and buzz from the partisan Flushing Meadows crowd for their domestic superstar, Frances Tiafoe who, not only claimed the metaphorical scalp of record-Grand Slam medalist Rafael Nadal in the Fourth Round, but also took out No. 11 seed Andrey Rublev in the quarter-finals.
The fast-serving Marylander will be relishing the occasion in Queens as he takes to his first semi-final at a Grand Slam event, with his previous best coming in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open in 2019. The 24-year-old hasn’t had the best of years in the sport’s other major tournaments, crashing out of the Second Round in the both the Australian and French Open, while losing in the Fourth Round of Wimbledon to David Goffin. But he can cap it off with a flourish here.
Carlos Alcaraz meanwhile has been riding the crest of a wave in 2022. At just 19, the Spaniard has, like Tiafoe, reached his first career semi-final, following on from a quarter-final appearance at Roland-Garros earlier this year, and also coming after his appearance in 2021’s quarters at the New York showpiece.
The teenage Murcian took out No. 13 seed Jannik Sinner in the final-eight and seasoned right-hander Marin Cilic in the Fourth Round. Ranked fourth in the tennis seedings, a place below fellow countryman Nadal, Alcaraz will be desperate to avoid a humbling from the homegrown star like his compatriot and tee up a final against either Karen Khachanov or Casper Ruud.