Carlos Alcaraz defeats Frances Tiafoe at the US Open semifinals in a battle of tennis’ rising stars, with the 19-year-old’s victory a major step towards the top 10.
By Celine Schlaepfer
Posted Monday, March 8, 5:02 a.m.
The US Open has made it official, with the victory of American teen Lucas Pouille over young French hope Frances Tiafoe.
The world No. 14 and the 23-year-old will meet in the best of two-players final at the US Open on Friday evening. They were both seeded in the fourth round, with Pouille winning three sets and Tiafoe two.
Tiafoe, the No. 3 player in the world, was playing in his first top-10 at the major in five years. He had been a top three player in the world since 2013, but he hadn’t been to a final since Wimbledon 2013.
In 2017, he won two ATP Tour titles, the London ATP 500 at which he was awarded a wildcard, and then came back to London for the U.S. Open in a fourth round loss to compatriot Nick Kyrgios.
In 2017, Tiafoe was runner-up at the U.S. Open in the junior men’s draw, losing to 18-year-old Sam Querrey in the quarterfinals. It was his first career Grand Slam final, and his first final since Wimbledon 2013.
The 20-year-old Pouille had beaten John Isner in last year’s London ATP 500 final before losing to John McEnroe.
“I love to play against players who I haven’t seen before, so I think that’s my motivation to be here. I’m not that kind of player. Maybe some people look at that and say it’s good, but they haven’t seen me before,” Pouille said of his motivation on winning his first major.
“I’ll be very happy. I’m trying to prove I can play at this level but also show that I have some good