The 25-year-old matches the achievement previously accomplished by Arthur Ashe and James Blake.
Speaking to reporters after his nail-biting 4-6 7-6(1) 7-6(8) win over German Jan-Lennard Struff, Tiafoe said he was “super emotional” after moving to 10th in the world rankings.
“I’m a guy who shouldn’t even really be here doing half the things he’s doing,” Tiafoe said.
“And now when you say his name, you can say he’s top 10 in the world. So [that is] something that no one can take from you and I’m going to remember that forever.
“Hopefully, I can ride that for a long time.”
Tiafoe has been heralded as the potential future of men’s tennis in the US and he’s starting to fulfil those expectations.
However, his journey to the higher echelons of elite tennis hasn’t been easy.
His parents met in the US after leaving Sierra Leone and had twins together, Franklin and Frances.
His father, Constant Tiafoe, started working at the Junior Tennis Champions Center in Washington, D.C. back in 1999 and eventually moved into one of its vacant storage rooms while working around the clock.
His two boys would sometimes stay with him, sleeping on a massage table, while their mother worked night shifts as a nurse.
The unusual gateway into the sport gave Tiafoe an opportunity to start developing his skills and, after beginning to train at the facility, he didn’t look back.
He turned professional in 2015, broke into the world’s top 100 a year later and then started asserting himself on the biggest stage.
Tiafoe reached his first major quarterfinal at the Australian Open in 2019 before a magical run to the US Open semifinals in 2022 – his best grand slam performance to date.
Tiafoe was made to work for his landmark achievement, needing a thrilling final-set tie-breaker to beat home favourite Struff on Sunday.
After finally getting over the line, the American celebrated in style before falling to the floor in disbelief.
He was then handed a bottle of champagne which he popped and sprayed on those around him.
“I just want to start drinking,” he joked during his on-court interview.
Joining Tiafoe in the latest top 10 rankings is compatriot Taylor Fritz – it’s the first time two American players have been in the men’s Top 10 since Mardy Fish and John Isner in 2012.
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