THE NEW YORK Things like this aren't usually recorded in the record books, but on Tuesday night at the U.S. Open,
it may have been the first time two players left the field to the song "We Dem Boyz" by Wiz Khalifa. So, at the very least, the tournament's organizers were aware of their predicament.
There were many levels of significance to the all-American quarterfinal encounter between Ben Shelton and Frances Tiafoe,
which Shelton won, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (9-7), 6-2, to become the youngest American man in the U.S. Open semifinals since 20-year-old Michael Chang in 1992.
Two of the three American men that advanced to the U.S. Open quarterfinals—the most the host nation has seen since 2005—were these two.
Two Black American men competed in the first Grand Slam quarterfinal since the Open era began in 1968. Tennis is more popular than ever, and their meeting felt like the conclusion of a trend that has been hard to miss at the U.S. Open this year.
Thanks to devoted guests like Vogue editor Anna Wintour, director Spike Lee, and actor Alec Baldwin, the U.S. Open has undoubtedly long been a must-attend event among some of the biggest tastemakers in pop culture and glossy magazine mainstays,
but its recognition is expanding across all demographics. The U.S. Open broke daily attendance records in the first week, drawing 502,385 visitors. The first six days of the main draw were the most crowded in U.S. Open history in terms of attendance.
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