TIAFOE HANGS TOUGH TO RECORD WIMBLEDON WIN

Frances Tiafoe reached the second round at Wimbledon with a 7-6(6), 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-3 victory over #30 seed Spaniard Fernando Verdasco on Tuesday.

The JTCC alumnus protected his serve superbly throughout the match, saving 13 of the 15 break points he faced in the 161-minute long contest.

Tiafoe’s win over the former world #7 marked the first time he has defeated a seeded player at a Grand Slam. The 20-year-old is in the midst of a breakout season as he sits at a career high #52 in the world rankings.

The young American won his first ATP World Tour championship when he captured the Delray Beach title in February. His stellar play has continued since with deep runs in Miami, Estoril and Queen’s respectively. Tuesday’s success means that Tiafoe has now beaten six top 30 players in 2018.

Thursday will mark Tiafoe’s third appearance in the second round of a Grand Slam as he takes on French veteran Julien Benneteau. The match is scheduled first on court 15 at 6:30 am EST and WatchESPN will provide live streaming coverage. The two have never faced each other before and Tiafoe has a slight advantage in the ATP rankings with his 36-year-old opponent currently at #63 in the world.

“Frances’ performance in the first round really showed that he belongs at the top of the game,” commented JTCC Senior Director of Tennis, Vesa Ponkka. “Verdasco is an experienced campaigner but he kept his composure in the key moments and is well equipped to make a deep run at Wimbledon.”

Frances Tiafoe hits a backhand volley on his way to victory over Fernando Verdasco in the opening round at Wimbledon (credit: Clive Brunskill – Getty Images)