United States No 1 Taylor Fritz is confident that at least one American man will reach the last four of the US Open.
Fritz was among four American men to gain the last 16 on Friday and has faith that there will be a home player in the semi-finals.
If Frances Tiafoe can overcome Rinky Hijikata in the last 16, then the United States will be guaranteed a player in the men’s singles semi-finals.
Tiafoe is bracketed alongside the all-American last 16 clash between Ben Shelton and Tommy Paul.
Fritz said that the healthy state of American men’s tennis had him buzzing.
“It feels really good, if I’m being honest. I expected it. I expected Frances and Tommy to move forward,” said Fritz in a press conference.
“Even yesterday, before everyone played today, I looked at the draw. This side of the draw is crazy. I looked at it for the first time, the whole thing.
“I was like, wow, one of these guys on their side, is for sure making it to the semi-finals. Not to put pressure on them, but…
“That’s just what I thought personally. I was like, I wonder who it’s going to be, but one of them is going to be in the semis.”
For Fritz himself to make the last four he is likely to need to get past Novak Djokovic provided the three-time US Open champion can defeat Borna Gojo.
If Fritz reaches the last four it is highly likely that he would face a compatriot for a place in the final.
Tiafoe looks to be the last four favourite from his section of the draw.
After a particularly taxing third round win, Tiafoe confessed his awe for the big three and any players who have managed to consistently go deep at the Grand Slams.
“It’s tough. I mean, hats off to what Novak, Rafa, Fed, Murray, those guys, even guys like [Tomas] Berdych and [Juan Martin] Del Potro, all those guys who consistently make quarters, semis,” he said.
“It’s tough, it’s not easy. It’s two weeks, a lot of distractions. It’s just long and you’ve got to stay in the moment for two weeks. It’s brutal.
“But it’s definitely worth it. A lot of hype. But I enjoy it. I think here is how I want to approach all the other ones. Stop making it such a big deal. Obviously, everybody wants to do well in the slams. I put so much emphasis on the slams this year after what I did last year here in the Open, I think that was almost a detriment to me.
“Just go out there and do your thing. Have fun, compete hard, get the crowd involved, and let the chips fall where they may.
“At the end of the day I’m 25. Whether it happens now or another time, it’s okay. I think that’s what Novak and those guys do. They just go out and do their thing no matter what. I think that’s the best approach.”
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