Frances Tiafoe may have begun his semifinal clash against the Erste Bank Open's No. 7 seed Jannik Sinner as the old 'Foe,' but by the end of it he revealed just what he's capable of. With his back up against the wall, he captured a 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 win against the powerful Italian and booked his ticket into the biggest final of his career.

Earlier this week,'s Senior Editorial Manager said it best on the Inside-In Podcast.

"It doesn't really matter what this guy is ranked, he's actually never had an all told that high of a ranking," McGrogan said. "Even right now he's just hovering around the Top 50, but you would never get that impression when you watch him play based on A: the crowd reaction, B: how his opponents play him—they respect him like he's a Top 10 player.

"They know at any point this guy can play like a Top 10 player."


This narrative was certainly in full effect on Saturday as Tiafoe was being bullied at the baseline from the Italian. Playing his fifth match of the week in Vienna and having gone through No. 1 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas and Diego Schwartzman already, the match was slipping from him as he appeared to be running out of gas. However, on a dime he flipped the match entirely, something a Top 10 competitor knows how to do.

Down a set and 5-2, Tiafoe was buried but a couple of loose errors from Sinner, gave him a small opening and it was all he needed. From there, Tiafoe turned the tables to capture the second set and broke the world No. 11 early in the third.

"The best players somehow find a way to win," Tracy Austin mentioned during Tennis Channel's broadcast of the match.

Feeding off the energy of the crowd, he put the player he used to be behind him by not getting too cute or going for risky trick shots. Solid aggressive tennis, approaching the net at all the right times and forcing Sinner to hit one more ball by tracking each shot down is what ultimately saw him to a three-set victory.

Tiafoe's semifinal triumph in Vienna is arguably the most meaningful win of his career given the circumstances, coming back from a set and a break down in the second set. No lull following the second set, no break in concentration—it wasn't the Tiafoe of old but the Tiafoe of new.

For the first time in his career he has claimed back-to-back matches against Top 20 opponents. He will next face a very tough Alexander Zverev who blew past Carlos Alcaraz, 6-3, 6-3, in his semifinal. Tiafoe trails Zverev 5-1 in their head-to-head record.