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By Chris Oddo | Saturday February 24, 2018

Frances Tiafoe

Frances Tiafoe played flawlessly and knocked off Canada's Denis Shapovalov to reach his first career final at the Delray Beach Open.

Photo Source: New York Open

20-year-old Frances Tiafoe had one of the best days of his career to continue the best week of his career at the Delray Beach Open on Saturday. The American started by finishing off his quarterfinal tilt with No.8-seeded Hyeon Chung in the early afternoon.

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Tiafoe had failed to convert on three match points on Friday night before the match had to be postponed due to rain. He needed five more match points on Saturday but finally finished Chung off to reach his first career semifinal.

That was just the beginning.

Several hours later he was back to knock off Canada’s Denis Shapovalov, 7-5, 6-4, showing no signs of fatigue as he surged past the 18-year-old in 71 minutes.

"It's been a great last couple of weeks," Tiafoe said. "I'm just trying to keep riding this wave and see where it takes me."

It was a tight match from start to finish but Tiafoe made the most of his opportunities and never yielded on serve. Tiafoe didn’t even face a break point in the first set and dropped only six service points. He engineered a late break in the 11th game and served out the opening set, sealing it with an ace.

Tiafoe raced out to a double-break lead in the second set but Shapovalov did not give up the chase. The Canadian rallied and reclaimed one of the breaks but Tiafoe protected his serve down the stretch and closed out Shapovalov without facing any further trouble.

"I have to give Frances credit today. He played extremely well. He's been hot all week, beating unbelievable players," Shapovalov said after the match. "He was the more dominant player for sure today.”

Tiafoe will face Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk in the final. The 28-year-old from Munich knocked off Steve Johnson, 7-6(3), 6-3.


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