You don’t have to be a tennis aficionado to understand the significance of what is playing out on the U.S. Open court in Flushing Meadows, New York. The No 22-seeded Frances Tiafoe became the first American man to reach the U.S. Open semifinals since 2006 by slamming past both Rafael Nadal (#2-seeded) and Andrey Rublev (#9-seeded). Tiafoe’s aggressive play on the court has landed him in his first career Grand Slam semifinal, which is scheduled to be played on Friday. 

The 24-year-old Tiafoe, who was raised in Maryland, could not hide his excitement after his straight set win. “This is wild, crazy, biggest win of my life 24 hours ago and coming back with this,” said Tiafoe. “This court is unbelievable. I feel at home. Let’s enjoy this one but we got two more.”   

The last American male to get this far in the U.S. Open was Andy Roddick in 2006. Roddick lost to Roger Federer. Roddick also was the last man from the U.S. to win any Grand Slam singles championship, winning the U.S. Open in 2003.  

As reported by ESPN, “Entering this year’s U.S. Open, American men have gone 74 consecutive majors since Roddick won in 2003, which is the longest major title drought the U.S. men have had in tennis history.” Tiafoe, who is only the second active American man to reach a major semifinal, has the opportunity to continue to slam his way into the record books, advancing his brand and rewinding the brand of the U.S. Open to the days long gone by.  

Denise Kaigler is the founder and principal of MDK Brand Management, a firm specializing in brand strategy, business consultancy and career coaching. Prior to launching her business in 2015, Denise held senior, executive and C-suite roles at several global brands. Denise is the author of Forty Dollars and a Brand: How to Overcome Challenges, Defy the Odds and Live Your Awesomeness, available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She is also the creator and executive producer of Brand Rewind ™, a multi-media experience that explores the actions and behaviors of personal and business brands and empowers others to learn from them. Sign up for the Brand Rewind ™ newsletter and subscribe to the Brand Rewind LIVE YouTube channel by clicking here.