Andy Roddick insists that he doesn’t ‘want to be the answer to a trivia question for much longer’ and hopes that Frances Tiafoe can end the 19-year wait for an American man to win in New York.
Roddick remains the last American man to lift the US Open trophy and also the last to win a singles Grand Slam.
Tiafoe is the last American standing out of a group of promising players who should eventually end the US drought.
The player himself isn’t that interested in being the one to break the barren run saying he is motivated to win for himself.
Roddick understands that Tiafoe might be a bit resentful at having a narrative foisted upon him.
“If I’m him and I just had the biggest win of my career, the last thing I want to talk about is someone else, I get it. I don’t want to be the answer to a trivia question for much longer either,” Roddick told Eurosport.
“I like Frances a lot, I love his game, I think he’s fantastic. I like the way he operates, I like his energy. And frankly in this country we need people that are not only really good, but are entertaining; and he has that.
“I want him to do well. I would love nothing more than for him to go all the way and have someone else not want to talk about him some day.”
Tiafoe generated significant buzz as a junior player and his transition to the ATP Tour was closely followed, something he admits made it tougher for him to settle down.
“When I first came on the scene I felt like a lot of people had a lot of expectations on me on how I would do,” Tiafoe said after beating Rafael Nadal to reach .
“I wasn’t ready for it mentally.
“I wasn’t mature enough for it.
“These past couple of years, when the tension hasn’t been on me I have been able to develop.
“I have a great team behind me.
“I am just putting my head down and I am happy with where I am in life in general. I am able to do me and do it my way and enjoy the game I love.”
Tiafoe is the first American man to reach the last eight at the US Open since John Isner in 2018 and the youngest US player to play a quarter-final at Flushing Meadows since Andy Roddick in 2006.
His next assignment will be to see off a man who is a strong outside contender for the crown in Andrey Rublev.
Rublev has enjoyed playing on North American hard courts recently and despite many big names being knocked out, the Russian continues to fly under the radar.
With Casper Ruud and Carlos Alcaraz in the race to be crowned the new World No 1 Rublev is happy to not be the focus of attention.
He said: “I’m not paying really attention because it’s not me. It’s less pressure, like, OK, let them fight, let them feel this pressure. Better for me, like this, all of them will get more tight.”
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