Carrying hopes for U.S. men, Tiafoe reaches 4th round at Open

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
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Frances Tiafoe reacted as though he had just won the U.S. Open, covering a grin with his hands in disbelief.

He actually had just lost a point when his opponent, Marton Fucsovics of Hungary, threaded a forehand between the umpire’s chair and the net post from off the court for a winner.

“He nailed it,” Tiafoe said. “I knew he was going to go for it, and I couldn’t believe he made it.”

Tiafoe lost the point but won the match Saturday, dominating Fucsovics 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 to become the only American man to reach the second week of the tournament.

Ranked 82nd, Tiafoe advanced to the fourth round, his best showing at the Open.

“I knew this was big to get to the second week,” Tiafoe said. “I really wanted to keep this run going.”

His opponent Monday will be No. 3-seeded Daniil Medvedev, last year’s runner-up. Medvedev won when they met in the first round of the Australian Open in January.

“He’s a tough out, and he’s confident right now,” Tiafoe said. “He’s playing the best tennis of his life. But I feel like when I’m playing like I’m playing right now, I’ve got a chance against anybody in the world. I’ve felt that way for years, and I’m starting to finally put it together again.”

The 22-year-old Tiafoe has been ranked as high as 29th, but like many young American players, he has lacked the consistency needed to crack the sport’s top tier.

He envisions better days for U.S. men, himself included.

“I think American tennis is in a great place right now,” he said. “The young guys are all in a great place. In a few years or even sooner, guys are going to be ready to be in second weeks more readily.”

Tiafoe said it was “scary” how well he played against Fucsovics, aside from the rally that immediately became a tournament highlight on social media.

“I could have hit down the line for a winner,” Tiafoe said. “But I had to go for the fancy shot.”

His angled forehand sent Fucsovics scurrying off the court to whack an improbable winner. Tiafoe was still laughing about it when he sat down during the ensuing changeover.

Said Fucsovics: “At least I won the point of the match.”

Elena Rybakina hits 10 aces in Miami for 12th straight win

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina extended her winning streak to 12 matches by delivering 10 aces – her fourth consecutive outing with at least that many – in a 6-3, 6-0 victory over 25th-seeded Martina Trevisan on Tuesday in the Miami Open quarterfinals.

Rybakina has 46 aces through four matches at the hard-court tournament in Florida and a WTA-leading 201 this season.

The 23-year-old, who represents Kazakhstan, improved to 20-4 in 2023, including a run to the Australian Open final in January and a title at Indian Wells, California, last week.

She is trying to become only the fifth player to win the women’s trophies at Indian Wells and Miami in the same season. Top-ranked Iga Swiatek did it a year ago; she withdrew from Miami this time because of a rib injury.

“Of course it would be amazing to achieve something like that,” the 10th-seeded Rybakina said about the prospect of completing what’s known as the Sunshine Double, “but it’s still far away.”

So far in Rybakina’s career, 13 of her 18 semifinal appearances have come on hard courts. She will face No. 3 Jessica Pegula or No. 27 Anastasia Potapova for a berth in the final.

Trevisan reached the French Open semifinals in 2022.

In fourth-round men’s action Tuesday, No. 2 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas was beaten 7-6 (4), 6-4 by No. 14 Karen Khachanov, while defending champion Carlos Alcaraz, Taylor Fritz and Jannik Sinner all beat seeded opponents in straight sets.

Alcaraz, who returned to No. 1 in the ATP rankings last week, got past Australian Open semifinalist Tommy Paul 6-4, 6-4 to set up a meeting against Fritz, the top-ranked American man and seeded ninth in Miami.

Fritz compiled twice as many winners, 22, as unforced errors, 11, and only dropped serve once during a 6-3, 6-4 victory over No. 7 Holger Rune. That put Fritz into his first quarterfinal in seven appearances in Miami – and his first matchup against Alcaraz, a 19-year-old from Spain who won the U.S. Open in September for his first Grand Slam title.

“I’m really excited for it,” Fritz said. “I think that a lot of people are really excited for that, too.”

No. 10 Sinner eliminated No. 6 Andrey Rublev 6-2, 6-4 and has yet to drop a set in the tournament.

Sinner’s next opponent will be unseeded Emil Ruusuvuori, a 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 winner against No. 26 Botic van de Zandschulp.

Fritz, Sinner reach Miami Open quarterfinals with 2-set wins

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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Taylor Fritz and Jannik Sinner beat seeded opponents in straight sets at the Miami Open to move into the quarterfinals.

No. 9 Fritz compiled twice as many winners, 22, as unforced errors, 11, and only dropped serve once during a 6-3, 6-4 victory over No. 7 Holger Rune.

That put Fritz, the highest-ranked American man, into his first quarterfinal in seven appearances at the hard-court tournament.

He will face either No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz or Australian Open semifinalist Tommy Paul next. Alcaraz is the defending champion in Miami.

No. 10 Sinner eliminated No. 6 Andrey Rublev 6-2, 6-4 and has yet to drop a set in the tournament.

Sinner’s next opponent will be No. 26 Botic van de Zandschulp or unseeded Emil Ruusuvuori.