Frances Tiafoe, Tommy Paul, and Coco Gauff all progressed to the third round of the U.S. Open on Wednesday, keeping the hopes alive for an American player to be crowned champion at Flushing Meadows.
Tiafoe, who reached the semifinals last year, had a comfortable victory over Sebastian Ofner, winning 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 under the lights at Arthur Ashe Stadium. The 10th seed faced little resistance from the 58th ranked Austrian in their first-ever meeting. Tiafoe didn’t drop a serve during the match and secured his victory by breaking Ofner for the fifth time when the Austrian’s forehand went wide. His next opponent is Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, who defeated Fabian Marozsan 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-1 earlier in the day. Tiafoe commented, “It’s going to be tough… but I’m ready for him.”
No American man has won the trophy at Flushing Meadows since Andy Roddick two decades ago, while Sloane Stephens was the last U.S. woman to clinch the title in 2017. Tiafoe expressed optimism about the state of American tennis, saying, “Me and Taylor (Fritz) are in the top 10, Tommy is knocking on the door. We all grew up together and know each other so well, so I think American tennis is in a great place. Hopefully, we all keep going and stop that streak of Andy Roddick in ’03.”
Tommy Paul displayed incredible determination by coming back from being two sets down for the first time in his career to defeat Roman Safiullin 3-6, 2-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-3. After the match, the 14th seed from New Jersey shared a heartfelt moment with a young fan who had cheered him on throughout the more than three-hour contest. Paul faces a tough challenge on Friday against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who has been in excellent form during the summer hardcourt season.
On the women’s side, sixth seed Coco Gauff delivered a convincing 6-3, 6-2 win over Russia’s Mirra Andreeva in a showdown of teenage talents. Gauff, who had previously faced Andreeva at this year’s French Open, adopted a more aggressive approach and converted four of her five break-point opportunities. She only surrendered her serve once during the 76-minute match at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Gauff praised Andreeva’s potential and expressed confidence in her future success.
Gauff’s next opponent is Belgian 32nd seed Elise Mertens, who secured a hard-fought 3-6, 7-6(7), 6-1 victory over American Danielle Collins in a nearly three-hour-long match.
However, Wimbledon quarter-finalist Chris Eubanks, the 28th seed, faced an early exit, losing 7-6(6), 2-6, 6-2, 7-6(7) to wildcard Benjamin Bonzi of France