Carlos Alcaraz defeats Frances Tiafoe at the US Open semifinals in a battle of tennis’ rising stars.
PORTLAND, Ore. — During the first few hours of his first round match in the 2017 U.S. Open quarterfinals, Frances Tiafoe was the most anxious player there.
The 19-year-old Australian was sitting against American Sam Querrey with a game under 100 under Querrey’s belt. Tiafoe had played the two-time Grand Slam champion four times before, and he’d lost three of the four matches.
But this was different: This was the US Open. And this was the first time the two young stars had played together.
And Tiafoe was in awe.
“I thought I never played like this before,” he said. “I mean I’m not a guy that can just turn up and play my normal games. I can win on points, I can win on the court, I can win on my body.
“But I thought I never played with a guy that was confident on his backhand, and that’s what I was feeling here today.”
At the end of the first set, Tiafoe needed a 5-4 rally, but Querrey pulled away — and Tiafoe never touched the ball again.
In the third set, Tiafoe faced a similar matchup, but this time he was not able to push it to the end. Querrey went on to win it 4-6, 6-7(5), 7-6(3), 6-0, and seal the title on Saturday, becoming the third Australian to win the U.S. Open, joining Todd Martin and Alex Bogomolov Jr.
It was only the fourth time in history that a player won three successive grand slams while playing junior tennis. It was also the first time since 2008 that a men’s junior-level player beat a man in the U.S. Open semis.
And it would not be the only time Tiafoe had to deal with a top-10 opponent in a grand slam final this year. Tiafoe was unable to win the French Open, his toughest Grand Slam in over a year, and finished the year un