Frances Tiafoe led neophyte compatriot Ben Shelton to unexpected spots in the US Open fourth round on Sunday, with the American national No. 2 defeating Australian wild card Ricky Hijikata 6-4, 6-1, 6-4.

Shelton, the 47th-ranked son of a former ATP player broke new ground with his 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 win over compatriot Tommy Paul.

Compatriot Taylor Fritz joined in, defeating Swiss qualifier Dominic Stricker 7-6 (2), 6-4, 6-4.

The American came into the match having held all 34 service games so far here, and was broken only once in advancing to the last eight.

Three US men have reached the quarters in New York for the first time since 2005.

Shelton, aged 20, became the youngest American to reach the home quarter-finals since Andy Roddick (20) in 2002.

The win marked revenge for a loss Shelton took to Paul in January’s Australian Open.

“Being at home here in front of an American crowd, I have felt the love all week,” the winner, who next faces Tiafoe, said.

“I played another American today and we had a great battle. It’s hard to believe I am playing on Arthur Ashe right now with the stands completely full.”

Shelton fired a pair of 239 kph serves 1 in the third set, setting the standard for the tournament.

Shelton lost a 4-1 lead in the third set after leading two sets to love, but recovered with a storming final set for victory.

Shelton ended with 36 winners, including 16 aces.

He credited “straight adrenaline,” for his two service bombs.

“In any other atmosphere I wouldn’t be able to get it down. I think my arm might have come off. But it is feeling pretty good right now.”

The tenth-seeded Tiafoe moved to within one more win of duplicating  his semi-final here a year ago as he beat Hijikata in just over two hours.

“I had never played him before but when I broke in the first I really took off,” Tiafoe said. 

“I got a little sloppy at the end but happy to be through and happy to be in the quarter-finals.”

Tiafoe, fourth American since Andre Agassi (2002-’05) to reach the fourth round here for four consecutive years, has never played Shelton on the Tour.

Tiafoe said his upcoming opponent has crazy energy like Bugs Bunny.”

“He’s going to come after me and I am going to come after him. It will be a great battle.

“We are going to compete really hard. It will be in the big house (Ashe stadium) and I plan to be in the semis.”

The last time two Americans reached the last eight was in 2011 through John Isner and Andy Roddick.

Tiafoe pounded 27 winners against Hijikata but needed a second chance to serve out the win.

“I got too relaxed and the feet got sloppy.  But a win is a win, especially in straights and overall I am really happy with my performance.”

Main photo:- Francis Tiafoe celebrates victory – by Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd