Tiafoe scores late-night upset over fifth seed Rublev to reach US Open fourth round

After a thrilling five-set win over fifth seed Andrey Rublev, Frances Tiafoe will meet Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime for a place in the quarter-finals

Frances Tiafoe of the United States at the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

US Open 2021: Men’s Singles third round

Frances Tiafoe beat Andrey Rublev(5) : 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-1

  • What happened: American Frances Tiafoe upset fifth seed Andrey Rublev in a late-night thriller at the US Open
  • You will also learn: Tiafoe won the match at 2:14 AM – making it tied for the fifth-latest finish ever at the US Open
  • Why you should read this: To learn who Tiafoe will meet in the round of 16

American Frances Tiafoe produced one of the big upsets of this year’s competition as he upset fifth seed Andrey Rublev on Friday to advance to the last 16 for the second year running.

Tiafoe looked set to be on his way to a four-set win when he led by two sets to one and 4-2 in the fourth set, only for Rublev to fight back to win the set 6-4 and force a decider.

However, the American was not to be denied as he regained the momentum and dominated the fifth set to close out the 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-1 victory in three hours and 46-minutes.

Tiafoe delighted the crowd who stayed back late on Arthur Ashe Stadium and chanted “Let’s go, Frances!”.

Tiafoe’s win was among the latest US Open finishes in history

The match finished at 2:14 a.m. on Saturday morning, which put it tied for the fifth-latest finish in US Open history.

Here are the latest finishes in US Open history –

2:26: September 4, 1993 (final match: Wilander d. Pernfors)
2:26: September 2, 2012 (final match: Kohlschreiber d. Isner)
2:26: September 1, 2014 (final match: Nishikori d. Raonic)
2:22: September 1, 2018 (final match: Cilic d. De Minaur)
2:14: September 3, 2021 (last match: Tiafoe d. Rublev)
2:14: September 3, 2002 (final match: El Aynaoui d. Ferreira)

“I love these matches. This is why you work. This is why you put the time in, to play the best guys in the world. These are the matches I get up for,” Tiafoe told the fans in his on-court interview. “I want these guys. I want to put it on my resumé. I came out today and I was like, ‘I’m going to beat him.’ I grew up with this guy, I don’t fear any of these guys. Let’s keep going.”

The American will next meet Canadian 12th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, who beat 18th seed Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3 in another epic third-round contest on Friday. Monday’s match will be the first encounter between the two players on the ATP Tour.

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