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#pounditThursday, December 8, 2022

Frances Tiafoe’s coach has warning ahead of semifinals

Frances Tiafoe during a match

Aug 30, 2022; Flushing, NY, USA; Frances Tiafoe of the United States celebrates after a point against Marcos Giron of the United States on day two of the 2022 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Frances Tiafoe is rolling at the US Open, and his coach thinks opposing players need to look out.

Tiafoe on Wednesday beat Andrey Rublev 7-6(3), 7-6(0), 6-4 to advance to his first major semifinal ever. He is also the first American male to reach the semis of the US Open since 2006.

Wayne Ferreira, Tiafoe’s coach, doesn’t think his pupil is done either.

Ferreira was interviewed by ESPN’s Pam Shriver after Wednesday’s match and seemed in disbelief over how well Tiafoe is playing. He specifically pointed out how Tiafoe has won four of his five matches in straight sets.

“Been a bit of a struggle over time, but he’s believing in what he needs to do, and he’s making the strides to do it. Gradually he’s getting there. He has these dips in matches — we’ve had now three straight-set matches here at the US Open. So he’s really putting it together,” Ferreira said.

Ferreira then commented on Tiafoe’s chances in the semis, where the American will meet either Jannik Sinner or Carlos Alcaraz.

“He’s beaten Sinner and Alcaraz before. He believes that he can win too. I think the way he’s playing now, I don’t think I’ve seen him play as well or hit the ball as well as he’s doing now. So I think he has a very strong chance,” Ferreira told Shriver.

Ranked No. 26 in the world, Tiafoe has left everyone associated with him impressed by his play.

“I’m like stunned,” Tiafoe’s father Frances Sr. said after his son beat Rublev in straight sets.

This is Tiafoe’s best showing ever at a major. His previous best major showing came when he reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in 2019. He has only lost one set all tournament; all of the other remaining men in the draw have lost multiple sets and had at least one 5-set match.

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