He may not have had as deep a run as Denis Shapovalov did in Montreal, but Frances Tiafoe definitely caught the attention of the tennis world this week.
He reached the round of 16, beating Alexander Zverev and thus ending the rising star’s winning streak. Unfortunately, he couldn’t back it up against big John Isner like I thought he would.
Tiafoe is pretty quick around the court and plays a natural counter punchers game. He’s got a snappy follow through on his groundstrokes and has shown he isn’t afraid to step up and punish the short ball when given the opportunity. Best of all, he appears to have that competitive spirit all champions need to win.
Still, John Isner has gone up against and occasionally defeated the best of them. He wasted no time in exposing Tiafoe’s weaknesses. The young American can be lazy with his footwork, reaching to play shots instead of taking the extra step or two needed to get in position. He’s also not one to venture towards the net and appears like a fish out of water when he does go there.
Isner took advantage of these weaknesses, controlled the net and capitalized on a few poorly decided shots to win for the second time in as many matches against Tiafoe.
Frances Tiafoe should get better in time and that will give U.S tennis plenty to smile for.