Ben Shelton Becomes Youngest American US Open Semifinalist Since 1992 After Historic Francis Tiafoe Match


September 7, 2023

Ben Shelton pushed through a second set loss to win his US Open quarterfinal match against his fellow American tennis pro Francis Tiafo on September 5.

Shelton won the match  6-2, 3-6, 7-6(7), 6-2. And with his win, the 20-year-old has become the youngest American man to reach the semifinal of the US Open since Michael Chang in 1992.

Going into the quarterfinal match, Shelton and Tiafoe were already gearing up for a major moment.

Their match was the first quarterfinal match between two Black men since the beginning of the Open Era in 1968. The match was also the first time in 15 years that two Black men had played in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“Two people of color playing in the quarterfinals, huge match on Arthur Ashe — it’s a pretty monumental moment,” Tiafoe told reporters ahead of the match, reports NBC News.

Tiafoe made history in 2022 when he became the first Black man to reach the US Open semifinals since Arthur Ashe in 1972.


Shelton reflected on his historic win following the quarterfinal match.

“I felt like I left it all out here tonight. It was an emotional battle,” Shelton said on court during a post-match interview.

Shelton will now go on to face Novak Djokovic, who is aiming to add another US Open win to his record 23 Grand Slam titles. Their semifinals match will be held on September 8.

Coco Gauff also enjoyed a historic win on September 5.

Gauff reached her first-ever US Open semifinal after defeating Jelena Ostapenko 6-0, 6-2. The win makes 19-year-old Gauff the first American teen to reach the US Open semifinal since Serena Williams in 2001. 

Photo by Harjanto Sumali / Shutterstock

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