Frances Tiafoe held his serve and more than held his own during his second round match against Roger Federer at the Miami Open in Key Biscayne, FL. He took Federer to a first set tiebreak before the current Australian Open and Indian Wells champion prevailed, 7-6 (2), 6-3.
The 19-year-old had never previously faced a current top 10 player, but certainly wasn’t overawed in taking on the 18-time Grand Slam champion. The two matched each other with high quality serving throughout the first set as neither player was pushed to a break point. Tiafoe won 79% of the points on his first serve including four aces during the first set.
“Frances seemed to be fearless, good serving, taking the ball early and making the plays,” said Federer in a post-match interview crediting his young opponent. “What I like to see is when a younger player comes out and really feels he has nothing to lose and only has stuff to gain. I hope he’s going to learn a lot from a match like this just because playing on a center court with a lot of people, under pressure, saving break points, making break points, playing breakers, that’s what it’s about. It should feed a player like him with a lot of energy moving forward hopefully.”
When the next ATP world rankings are published on April 3, Tiafoe returns as the youngest player ranked in the top 90 following his run in Miami which included winning three qualifying matches and a first round victory over
Tiafoe will next compete in the US Men’s Clay Court Championship in Houston, TX which starts on April 10.