American tennis players have made an indelible mark at this US Open. Players such as Madison Keys, Ben Shelton, Frances Tiafoe and Taylor Fritz all made it to the singles quarterfinals. 

The American contingent has been led by 19-year-old Coco Gauff, who reached the semifinals of the tournament by defeating Jelena Ostapenko from Latvia on Tuesday 6-0, 6-2. The No. 20 seed Ostapenko, the 2017 French Open champion, knocked off No. 1 seed Iga Swiatek on Sunday to face Gauff in the quarterfinals.

“(I’m) so happy,” said Gauff after her victory.  “Last year, I lost at the quarterfinal stage and I wanted to do better this year. I still have a long way to go, but I’m happy and I’m ready to go back to work for the next one. “

Guaff is the first American teenager to reach back-to-back US Open quarterfinals since Serena Williams (1999 and 2000) and is now the first American teenager to reach the semifinals since Serena.

“I mean, being in any sentence with her is great,” Guaff said. “She is the greatest of all time. I’m nothing close to that yet, but I’m just honored to be in the same sentence.”

Gauff will meet No. 10 seed Karolina Muchova tonight.

She and her doubles partner, American Jessica Pegula, went up against Hsieh Su-wei and Wang Xinyu in the quarterfinals yesterday. Pegula, who was the No. 3 seed in the singles competition, was eliminated by fellow American Madison Keys, seeded 20th, in the fourth round. Keys and No. 9 Marketa Vondrousova battled last night at Arthur Ashe Stadium for a spot in the semifinals.   

The American men have also experienced considerable success at this year’s Open, including two who contested each other in the quarterfinals on Tuesday night. Unseeded 20-year-old Ben Shelton advanced to the semifinals by upsetting No. 10 seed Frances Tiafoe 6-2, 3-6, 7-6. It was a historic pairing as it was the first time two Black men met in a US Open quarterfinal.

“I’m feeling like I left it all out here tonight,” said Shelton, a native of Atlanta who played collegiately for the University of Florida.  “An emotional battle,” he continued. “Thanks to all you guys for staying so late.  Hell of an atmosphere.  And thanks for pushing me over the line.” 

Shelton reached this year’s Australian Open as well and will take on No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic, arguably the greatest men’s player of all time, in the semifinals. Djokovic bested American Taylor Fritz, the No. 9 seed, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 on Tuesday. 

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