"I wasn't going to leave without winning" - Determined Tiafoe reflects on victory over Rublev
The World No.50 prevailed in a five-set late night thriller, pulling off a 4-6 6-3 7-6(6) 4-6 6-1 victory. Galvanized by the home crowd, the American slugged it out with Rublev in a match that lasted just under four hours and ended at 2:15am local time.
"You guys are the reason I got it done tonight. You guys stuck with me all the way through," Tiafoe said in his on-court interview. "I love these matches... these are the matches I train for. I came out here thinking 'I want to beat him'. Let's keep going."
With Rublev claiming the fourth set and momentum seemingly on his side, Tiafoe dug into his reserves of energy in the fifth. The American raced to a 5-0 lead in the final set, before eventually serving out the match to rapturous applause from the crowd.
"I've lost a lot of five-setters," admitted Tiafoe. "I was just amped up... I wasn't going to leave this court without winning tonight."
Up next for Tiafoe is 12th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, who survived Roberto Bautista-Agut in another five-set epic on Friday night.