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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Monday August 15, 2022

 
Tiafoe

Frances Tiafoe edged Matteo Berrettini to reach the second round at Cincinnati.

Photo Source: Getty

Moments after his 7-6(3), 4-6, 7-6(5) victory over No.12-seeded Berrettini on Monday night at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio, Frances Tiafoe signed the camer with the words: “I neded that.”

Tennis Express

And he certainly did. After squandering five match points against Nick Kyrgios in the quarterfinals at Washington, D.C., Tiafoe travelled to Montreal where he promptly blew a 4-0 lead in the third set of his second-round match with Taylor Fritz.

On Monday he didn’t let another opportunity for an important win slip as he turned on the jets in the third-set tiebreaker to send Berrettini packing.


The Italian could have used the win as well – he has dropped three in a row since reaching the final in Bastad, and has not won a hard court match since his second match at Indian Wells in March. Hard courts have never been his forté but the Italian is a former US Open semifinalist. This year he’ll head to New York with zero wins in North America under his belt. Berrettini lost to eventual champion Pablo Carreno Busta in the first round last week at Montreal, and he dropped to 21-9 on the season with the loss. It has been a rough go for the hard-serving Roman after he had to pull out of Wimbledon with Covid after an absolutely torrid run on the grass, where he won titles at Stuttgart and Queen’s Club.

Tiafoe will look to pick up some more momentum in Cincinnati when he faces compatriot Sebastian Korda in the second round. The same goes for Korda. The 22-year-old eased past Karen Khachanova 6-3, 6-4 on Monday in Cincinnati, but he hasn’t had a dream season by any means. The World No.52 improved to 21-15 on the season and will attempt to reach the third round for the first time in Cincinnati.

Tiafoe will enter as the favorite – he owns a 3-0 lifetime record against Korda which includes a three-set win over his compatriot in the semis at Estoril this year.

 

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