Facebook Social Button Twitter Social Button Follow Us on InstagramYouTube Social Button Follow Me on Pinterest
NewsVideosScoresTV ListingsTournamentsRankingsLucky Letcord PodcastMagazine

By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday October 29, 2021

A day after Frances Tiafoe notched his biggest career win by ranking over World No.3 Stefanos Tsitsipas, the 23-year-old American backed it up with another impressive triumph.

Tennis Express

Tiafoe defeated Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman, the No.8 seed, 6-4, 7-6(6) to reach his first 500-level semifinal at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna.

The victory sets a clash with Italy’s Jannik Sinner, who continued his torrid run of form indoors with a 7-5, 6-1 takedown of Norway’s Casper Ruud on Friday. For his efforts, Sinner rises above Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz to take hold of the last qualifying spot for this year’s Race to the Nitto ATP Finals at Turin.

Tiafoe hopes to stop the Italian in his tracks on Saturday, and he is starting to believe he belongs among the game’s elite after racking up multiple Top-20 wins at the same event for the first time in his career.

He had to struggle to do it, and nearly blew a 5-1 second set lead against the feisty Schwartzman, but he recovered to close out his straight-set victory by taking the second set tiebreak.

The victory is another step in the right direction for a player who is playing far better than his current ranking of 49 in the world. After his victory Tiafoe talked about the humbling experience of having to play qualifying to reach the main draw this week.

He says it wasn’t easy on his mind but added that it’s all part of the process.

“Even qualifying for this event was big,” he said. “It was an ego thing, the previous match I played before that I'm playing Andy Murray in a four hour battle (at Antwerp), and I'm out here playing qualies in a 500. That's a shock to the ego. And I didn't play great in those matches at all, terrible attitude, doing this “Why me?” shit, but I'm glad I got through those matches.

"It's still a big growing process for me and I take it head on. I'm not a guy that who is not admitting the actual plan ahead of me." Sinner has won both previous meetings with Tiafoe, which both came in 2019.

The Italian has been a pillar of consistency in 2021, winning four titles and reaching seven semifinals. He is proving to be an absolute terror on indoor hard courts, where he has now won 11 consecutive matches.

Against Ruud on Friday he took advantages of the Norwegian’s inability to make first serves and broke five times on 12 opportunities. Sinner fired 10 aces and saved four of five break points, and claimed nine of the final ten games to improve to 45-18 on the season.

The other semifinal in Vienna will feature Alexander Zverev and Carlos Alcaraz.


Latest News