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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday October 7, 2022

 
Frances Tiafoe

The 24-year-old American is intent on finishing 2022 in style.

Photo Source: Getty

After a splendid breakthrough at the US Open, where he became the first American man to reach the last four in New York since 2006, Frances Tiafoe has continued on the path to peak performance.

Tennis Express

After teaming up with Jack Sock to defeat Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at Laver Cup, he clinched the victory for Team World in London's O2 Arena by toppling Stefanos Tsitsipas in a dramatic match tiebreak.

This week in Tokyo, the World No. 19 is focused on continuing his rise.


“I’m starting to beat the guys I am supposed to beat,” said Tiafoe after racing past Miomir Kecmanovic, 6-0, 6-4 on Friday night in Tokyo. “That’s always been my Achilles heel – I’m feeling that winning is more of a habit now. I want more and more, so I don’t get complacent winning a couple of matches, I want to go deep and play on a lot of Sundays.

“I’m happy but we have a lot more work to do.”

That work will include a semifinal against South Korea’s Soonwoo Kwon – a contest against the current World No.120 is a perfect example of the type of match that Tiafoe wants to make sure he wins.

He's been known to loosen his grip at innoportune moments in the past, but these days Tiafoe is committed to bringing 100 percent focuse to every point of every match. It has showed this week in Tokyo, where he has not dropped a set en route to the semis.

The 24-year-old is into his second career ATP 500 semifinal, and if he can come away with the trophy in Tokyo, he would be the first American winner at the event since Pete Sampras in 1996.

Fritz Advances as Kyrgios Pulls out

In the bottom half of the draw, Taylor Fritz became the second American to reach the semifinals when Nick Kyrgios pulled out due to injury.


11th-ranked Fritz will face either Denis Shapovalov or Borna Coric in the semis on Saturday in Tokyo.

 

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